The whole country is presently witnessing a major deadlock between the Centre and the farming community, which seems to be particularly dissatisfied with the newly passed farm laws. The farmers from several neighbouring states like Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh have gathered in Delhi and have been staging an ongoing protest in and around the National Capital for the last six days.
The groups have gathered under various names to protests against what they see as contentious farm bills that were recently given a nod by the Centre. The protests have already entered the sixth day as Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said another round of talks will be held on December 3 after the farmers’ unions rejected the government’s proposal to set up a committee to look into the issues raised by them.
The meeting held at Vighyan Bhawan between the farmers’ and the Centre went on for three hours. 35 representatives of agitating farmers put forward their demands and demanded that the Centre repeal these contentious farm laws.
One of the other important demands made by the farmers is that the Electricity Amendment Bill must be withdrawn. The ministerial delegation that spoke to the farmers was composed of Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Prakash.
The delegation noted that although the meeting with the farmers went on well, another such meeting would be held on December 3 and said that the Centre had suggested them to form a small committee but they said that they would all be present for the meeting.
The farmers’ leaders on the other hand cited their disillusionment with the formation of any form of committee and said that all such committees had failed in the past and thus they all will be present.
The government had even asked the farmers to identify specific issues related to all the three farm laws for discussion in the next meeting.
The farmers on the other hand have shown disillusionment as they feel that it will dismantle the MSP system. The government has however maintained that the three new laws will enable farmers to sell their produce for a better price by rescuing the farmers from the clutches of middle men. Looking at all the current developments, it will be interesting to see the next turn that the farmer protests takes in India.