Farmers ready to talk if government invites: Tikait
Farmers protesting the contentious new farm laws are ready to talk if the Centre invites them, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said on Sunday, maintaining that the dialogue would resume where it had ended on January 22 and the demands remain unchanged. He said that for the talks to resume, the government should invite the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM).
Farmers have been protesting the new farm laws since November
SKM is an umbrella body representing the protesters who are camping at the three border points of Delhi at Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur since November 2020. The talks with the government would resume from the same point where they had ended on January 22.
Vij urged Agriculture Minister to resume talks with protesting farmers
Tikait's remarks came in response to Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij urging Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to resume talks with farmers amid coronavirus scare looming large. Maintaining that a surge in the cases is being seen across the country and the situation is turning bad in Haryana too, Vij said he is worried about the farmers protesting on state borders with Delhi.
'Black farm laws should be repealed,' maintains Tikait
"The demands are also the same -- all three 'black' farm laws should be repealed, a new law made to ensure MSP (minimum support price) for crops," Tikait was quoted as saying in a statement issued by BKU media in-charge Dharmendra Malik.
Protesting farmers carried out a tractor parade on January 26
The protesters and the government last had a formal dialogue over the contentious issue on January 22 but the impasse continued. On January 26, the protesters had carried out a tractor parade in Delhi which had escalated into violence involving farmers and the police in the national capital, after a group of farmers re-routed from the permitted route and entered Delhi without police permission.
The Kundli-Manesar-Palwal expressway was blocked on Saturday
On April 10, the protesting farmers blocked the 136-km-long Kundli-Manesar-Palwal expressway in Haryana. The blockade started at 8 am and lasted for 24 hours. Elaborate arrangements were made to maintain law and order, prevent violence and facilitate the traffic movement and public transport on the expressway.
Bharat Bandh was called on March 26
On March 26, the protesting farmers called for a nationwide strike or Bharat Bandh across the country. The bandh was scheduled for 12 hours starting at 6:00 am. Train services were affected during the strike, and four Shatabdi trains were canceled. The supply of fruits and vegetables was also stalled. Political parties—Congress, CPI (M), and NCP supported the bandh.
New farm laws will free farmers from middlemen: Centre
Hundreds of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at three border points of Delhi - Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur - demanding a repeal of the three farm laws enacted by the Centre in September last year. However, the Centre says the new farm laws will free farmers from middlemen, giving them more options to sell their crops.