Bharatiya Kisan Union's Rakesh Tikait
Bharatiya Kisan Union's Rakesh Tikait

A senior farmer leader on Wednesday said that the opposition in the country is weak and they should sit in pitched tents and stage protest on roads against the new farm laws.

Speaking to reporters ahead of unions' meeting with the Centre, Bharatiya Kisan Union chief Rakesh Tikait said, "It is essential to have strong opposition in the country whom the govt fears but here they don't. This is why farmers had to come on roads. Opposition should sit in pitched tents and stage protest on roads against the farm laws."

Tikat's BKU is part of 40 protesting farmer unions that have been invited to hold talks with the Centre on Wednesday.

This is the sixth round of talks after earlier episodes failed to produce any result. Farmers do not expect that a solution would be found in Wednesday's talks as the stick to the demand of repealing the new farm laws.

"Five rounds of talks between farmers and govt have taken place. We don't think we will reach a solution even today. The three farm laws should be repealed," Sukhwinder Singh Sabra, Joint Secy, Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, Punjab, said ahead of the talks.

The Centre on Monday invited the 40 protesting farmer unions for the next round of talks on December 30 on all relevant issues to find a "logical solution" with "open mind" to the prolonged impasse over the three new agri laws that was enacted in September.

However, farmer unions have hinted that they would not accept anything less than the repeal of three new agri laws and legal guarantee on the MSP.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the umbrella organisation which represents the farmer unions, said the modalities for repealing the three contentious laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support price (MSP) must be part of the agenda.

The Morcha further said the agenda should also include amendments to be made and notified in the Commission for the Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2020 to exclude farmers from its penal provisions.

In a letterv to the Centre, the Morcha also formally accepted the government's invitation for the dialogue.

The letter also stated that withdrawal of the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 to protect the interests of farmers should also be part of the agenda.

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Free Press Journal