Farmers Reject Govt’s Talks Offer: ‘Conditions An Insult’

Farmers protesting at various places in Delhi and Haryana on Sunday rejected the Central government’s offer to hold talks saying that imposing conditions for starting a dialogue is an insult to them.

“There was an offer from the central government for negotiation to resolve our issue. We have decided not to accept the proposal because there was a condition in it asking farmers sitting on the road to vacate the roads and move to Burari. We cannot accept this demand. The condition put forward for talks is an insult to farmers,” said Surjeet Singh Phul, Punjab State President of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), while addressing media on Singhu border (Delhi-Haryana) on Sunday afternoon.

He claimed that Nirankari Samagam Ground in Delhi’s Burari provided by the Central government to the protesters to stage demonstrations is an “open jail”.

“We’ve decided that we’ll never go to Burari Park as we got proof that it’s an open jail. Delhi Police told Uttarakhand Farmer Association president that they’ll take them to Jantar Mantar but instead locked them at Burari Park,” alleged Phul.

The BKU Punjab president stated that farmers have ration to last them for four months, and would continue their protest till their demands are met.

“Our main demand is that we want a guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) in the laws. We also want assurance of government procurement in the laws. But what the government offered us was a conditional letter. The government needs to have a big heart,” the farmer leader added.

He apologised for the “unintentional misconduct” with some mediapersons in the past three days and added that from today, to avoid such situations in future, protesting farmers will release a “press note”.

“If a person talks to the media here, it will be his individual statement. We’ve decided that we won’t allow any political party leader to speak on our stage, be it Congress, BJP, AAP or other parties. Our committee will allow other organisations, which are supporting us, to speak if they follow our rules,” he added.

Earlier, while talking to ANI, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar asked the farmer’s unions to “create an atmosphere” for talks, saying the government is open to dialogue.

“Government has proposed to meet on December 3 for the fourth time. So, talks are already going on, nobody should think the government isn’t ready for it. Government is open for talks. Farmers’ unions should create an atmosphere for it. They should leave agitation and choose talks,” said Tomar.

Around 32 farmer bodies, mostly from Punjab, and a few farmers from Gujarat and Maharashtra as well managed to reach Delhi on Friday and assembled at the border areas to continue their protest.

The farmers are protesting against The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said that the central government is ready for talks with the farmers’ unions on December 3. (ANI)

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