'Govt can talk, but no conditions should be imposed': BKU leader Rakesh Tikait after Centre assures strengthening of APMCs

A day after the mega cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, the agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday urged the farmers to end their agitation assuring that that the APMCs (Agricultural produce market committees) will not be done away with. In fact, he added that the APMCs will be strengthened with the aid of the funds allocated under Atmanirbhar Bharat.

However, Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait asserted that protests against the Centre's farm laws will continue. He said that the farm laws will not be curbed, yet the Centre is asking us to end the protest. He clarified saying, "if the govt wants to talk, it can talk, but no conditions should be imposed."

"Farmers are not protesting for 8 months so that they could follow govt's orders," he added.

The protest against the laws by farmers camping at various Delhi border points began in November last year and they are demanding that the legislations be withdrawn.

The government and farmer unions have held 11 rounds of talks so far, the last being on January 22, to break the deadlock and end the protest. Talks have not resumed following widespread violence during a tractor rally by protesting farmers on January 26.

Notably, today, Narendra Singh Tomar said, "It was earlier said APMCs would be strengthened. Efforts will be made to provide more resources to the APMCs. Rs 1 lakh crores allocated under Atmanirbhar Bharat to Farmers Infrastructure Fund can be used by APMCs."

"APMCs will not be done away with. After the implementation of farm laws, APMCs will receive crores of rupees from the Centre's Infrastructure fund, which will strengthen them and will be useful for more farmers," he added.

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