Key meeting between Centre, farmers today: Here's what to expect
Top ministers of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government spent time yesterday preparing for the key meeting with farmers' representatives, which is scheduled for 12 noon today at Vigyan Bhawan. The crucial meeting is happening after the last one on Tuesday remained inconclusive. Today, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also met Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to reportedly discuss the matter. Here's what happened.
Three laws miffed farmers, they manned Delhi's borders, demanded abrogation
In the Monsoon Session of Parliament, the Centre passed three laws, which it said would benefit Farmers by opening up markets for them, but the farmers believed this would kill their income. After remaining furious for many weeks, farmers launched a massive agitation. They have been occupying borders next to Delhi for days while braving the chilly winter wave and water cannons.
Top union ministers held discussions, brainstormed ways to end deadlock
Yesterday, Shah met Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal at his residence, just as farmers blocked highways near Delhi, throwing normal life under the bus. "(In the previous round of talks) the farmers were confrontational and party leaders are relying on Shah to bring them around," a BJP member told HT. The protest is spearheaded by farmers from Punjab and Haryana.
Last chance: Ahead of talks, farmers hardened their stand
At Vigyan Bhawan today, representatives of 35 farmer groups will sit with the Centre. On the ground, farmers have stocked essentials and are cooking food, to send a message they are ready for the long haul. On Wednesday, agitating farmers said today will be the "last chance" for Centre. They want the Centre to convene a special Parliament session to revoke the controversial laws.
"We are united, government shouldn't indulge in divisive agendas"
"We ask the government not to indulge in any divisive agendas with regard to the farmers' movement, which is united in its demand. This was clear from Tuesday's meeting," the Samyukt Kisan Morcha said yesterday, referring to Tuesday's talks.
Stubble burning could also be discussed during today's meeting
Interestingly, the demand around MSP might not be the sole topic to come up during today's discussions. As per IE, during the last meeting, farmers expressed inhibitions about the new law pertaining to air pollution which came into force in October. The law invites heavy penalties for stubble burning, which is the reason for poor air quality in Delhi/NCR. Naturally, farmers have their concerns.
Electricity consumption, procurement could be discussed in the meeting
The government could also tell farmers that it is committed to the procurement process, just as it was before June 5 when the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020, was issued. The farmers are also worried that the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020, will destroy subsidies, making electricity consumption for farming activities costlier. The Centre claims this won't happen.
The issue should be resolved soon: Singh
After meeting Shah, Congress' Singh said, "I only came to see HM to reiterate our position and make a request to him and farmers that we must resolve the issue soon as it affects the economy of my state and security." Meanwhile, Tomar assured that the government is willing to listen. "Let us see how much of the issue can be resolved," he added.Share this timeline