Angry over minister's absence, farmers leave meeting; Harsimrat Kaur Badal slams Centre's 'sheer skulduggery'
ANI Photo

The recently passed Farm Bills have triggered massive backlash from many opposition parties and farm groups across the country. The contentious Acts have seen Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal quit the NDA government, with her party breaking away from their ally soon after. It has seen people observing a Bharat Bandh and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had even travelled to Punjab for several rallies.

As the unrest continued, the Centre had urged delegates from these groups to attend a meeting to clarify and ease their concerns. While they had initially refused, 30 protesting farmers' groups from Punjab have travelled to Delhi and meetings are underway.

However, as per an NDTV report, the meeting on Wednesday came to an abrupt end after the assembled farmers took umbrage at the absense of Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. Reportedly, they raised slogans, tore up copies of the Acts and warned that their protests would continue.

Reacting to the situation, Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal had said that it was "shocking" that the Central government had called the farmers to Delhi to "hold sham talks to discredit them".

"This is no way to behave with farmers agitating since 3 months. If GOI did not have any solution to impasse with farm organisations it shouldn’t have called them to capital," she tweeted.

Badal said that she commended the farm leaders for walking out of the meeting "after realizing a bureaucrat was going to take it" and called it "sheer skulduggery".

"If Govt of India is serious about resolving grievances of farmers it should approach talks with a clean heart. Repeal the Agri laws which have been rejected by kisan and khet mazdoor and frame new ones keeping in view the interests of farmers and not corporates," she added.

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