3 Union Ministers Hold Talks With Farmer Union Leaders Amid Protests

3 Union Ministers Hold Talks With Farmer Union Leaders In Chandigarh Amid Protests

The protesting farmers have been camping at the border points. (File)


Three Union ministers held a third round of talks with the leaders of protesting farmer unions in Chandigarh on Thursday, amid a standoff between the protesters and security personnel at two points on the Punjab-Haryana border.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann also joined the meeting at the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration in Sector 26 here.

Union Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Minister Arjun Munda, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai represented the Centre at the meeting over the farmer unions’ various demands, including a law guaranteeing a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

The talks were underway till late at night.

This was the third round of talks between the two sides. The two previous rounds of dialogue on February 8 and 12 remained inconclusive.

Among the farmer leaders taking part in the meeting are SKM (Non-Political) leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal and Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha have given a “Delhi Chalo” call to press the BJP-led Centre to accept their demands.

Farmers from Punjab began their march to the national capital on Tuesday, but were stopped by security personnel at the Shambhu and Khanauri border points between Delhi and Haryana.

The protesting farmers have been camping at the border points.

Earlier, the farmer leaders had said they would not make any fresh attempt to move towards Delhi till the meeting with the ministers was held, asserting that the next course of action would be decided on the basis of the Centre’s proposals.

Separately, farmers squatted on railway tracks at many places in Punjab over the Haryana Police’s action against the “Delhi Chalo” protesters.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) and the BKU Dakaunda (Dhaner) gave the “rail roko” call.

The decision was taken in protest against the use of tear-gas shells and water cannons against the protesting farmers by the Haryana security personnel at the Shambhu and Khanauri border points.

Meanwhile, on the call of the SKM, farmers also staged demonstrations at several toll plazas in Punjab to protest against the Haryana Police’s action.

They also forced the toll authorities to let go of commuters without charging them a toll fee.

On Tuesday, farmers, mainly from Punjab, had clashed with the Haryana Police at two border points between the states, facing tear gas and water cannons as they tried to break the barricades blocking their march to the national capital.

Besides a legal guarantee on MSP, the farmers are demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, withdrawal of police cases and “justice” for the victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 and compensation for the families of the farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020-21.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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