Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): A day before the proposed Bharat Bandh of the farmers' unions, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Sunday said farmers should leave the path of agitation and opt for dialogue.
Speaking at a programme at Agriculture College in Gwalior, Tomar said, "I would like to appeal to farmers to leave the path of agitation and follow the path of dialogue. The government is ready to consider the objections raised by them. There have been several discussions earlier. If there is anything left, the government is definitely ready to talk.
The union minister emphasised that farmers' protest should not become a political issue.
"Farmers movement should not be mixed with politics. Farmer belongs to all. The government has negotiated with the farmers union very sensitively and is ready to do so in future also," added Tomar.
Meanwhile, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), a coalition of farmers' unions, has called a Bharat Bandh today to mark the first anniversary of the enactment of the three farm laws.
SKM has said that the nationwide strike will be observed from 6 am to 4 pm today.
During this period, all government and private offices, educational and other institutions, shops, industries and commercial establishments as well as public events and functions will be closed throughout the country, the SKM said.
However, exemptions to the bandh include all emergency establishments and essential services, including hospitals, medical stores, relief and rescue work and people attending to personal emergencies.
the Bharat Bandh garnered support from more than 500 farmer organizations, 15 trade unions, political parties, six state governments and varied sections of society.State governments of Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Punjab, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh have extended their support to the Bharat Bandh protest.
So far, left parties like the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, All India Forward Bloc, Revolutionary Socialist Party and many other parties like Indian National Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Samajwadi Party, Telugu Desam Party, Janata Dal (Secular), Bahujan Samaj Party, Nationalist Congress Party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, SAD-Sanyukt, Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Swaraj India and others have extended their support to the Bharat Bandh.
Farmers have been protesting at different sites since November 26 last year against the three enacted farm laws: 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.
Farmer leaders and the Centre have held several rounds of talks but the impasse remains.
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