Union Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda

Centre Invites Farmers For Fifth Round Of Talks

Union Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda

Union Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda said on Wednesday that the central government is ready to discuss all the issues raised by the Punjab farmers.

He further invited the farmers for a fifth round of talks while urging them to find a solution through ‘dialogue’.

“After the fourth round, the government is ready to discuss all the issues like MSP, crop diversification, stubble issue, FIR in the fifth round. I again invite the farmer leaders for discussion,” Arjun Munda said while speaking to ANI on Wednesday.

“I appeal to them to maintain peace and we should find a solution through dialogue,” he added.

He said that the farmers have not responded to the invite yet while appealing to move forward with the talks.

“No information has come yet (from farmers’ side). We appeal that we should move forward for talks and present our stand. The government also wants to move forward and find a solution,” the Union Minister said.

Minister Munda is one among the team of union ministers holding talks with the farmer leaders, including Piyush Goyal and Nityanand Rai.

Earlier in the day, the general secretary of Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, Sarwan Singh Pandher reiterated the demand for a legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) and assured a peaceful approach going ahead.

The farmer leader said that as the ‘Dilli Chalo’ resumed on Wednesday, only the leaders will be marching towards the national capital.

“We have decided that no farmer, youth will march forward. Leaders will march ahead. We will not attack our Jawans. We will go peacefully. All this can be ended if they (central govt) make a law on MSP,” Sarwan Singh Pandher said while speaking to ANI.

Also, addressing the protesting farmers, he appealed to move forward peacefully.

After the fourth round of talks ended in a stalemate, the farmers resumed their March on Wednesday morning.

On February 19, the farmer leaders rejected the Centre’s proposal on MSP purchase, saying “not in farmer’s favour”.

“After the discussion of both forums, it has been decided that if you analyse, there is nothing in the government’s proposal. Our government imports palm oil worth Rs 1.75 crore from outside that also causes illness to general public. If this money is given to the farmers of the country to grow oil seed crops and MSP is announced, then that money can be used here. This is not on the favour of farmers. We reject it,” farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal said.

“If the government is not giving legal guarantee of MSP, it means that the farmers of the country will continue to be looted. This is not acceptable,” he added.

After the Centre brought a proposal to purchase crops at Minimum Support Price (MSP), farmers leaders rejected the proposal on Monday evening, saying that it had nothing for them.

Meanwhile, the farmers leaders were seen wearing protective gears including masks, safety glasses and headphones to defend the resistive measures undertaken by the security forces.

In resistance to the protests, the forces used tear gas shells, water cannons apart from the multi-layer barricading deployed at various borders of Delhi.

Several farmers and police personnel were injured in the clashes during the March that started in February 13.

The protesting farmers have been camping at the Shambhu border near Ambala since the start of the March.

The two sides — ministers and farmer leaders — had met earlier on February 8, 12 and 15 but talks remained inconclusive. (ANI)

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