The crucial round of talks between the Centre and representatives of protesting farmers has begun against three contentious farm laws today. The representatives of 35 farmer groups will be attending the meeting with Centre.
Ahead of the fourth crucial meeting, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh met Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
While speaking to the media after the meeting, Singh said discussions are happening between the Centre and the farmers, and there was nothing for him to resolve. He said, “Discussion is going on between farmers and Centre, there’s nothing for me to resolve. I reiterated my opposition in my meeting with the home minister and requested him to resolve the issue as it affects the economy of my state and security of the nation.”
He said he urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to find an early solution to the matter.
The Punjab Chief Minister has also announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to the families of two farmers who lost their lives during the ongoing protests.
On Tuesday, the third round of talks had ended in a deadlock, with the farmers’ representatives dismissing the government’s proposal to form a committee to discuss the three laws.
On the other hand, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said he is hoping for a positive result after meeting the farmers. After meeting Amit Shah, Tomar said, “The government is constantly discussing issues with farmers. Today is the fourth round of talks. And I’m hoping for a positive outcome.”
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hinted at launching a countrywide strike if the Centre does not repeal the new farm laws. She said, “I am very much concerned about the farmers, their lives and livelihood. The government of India must withdraw the anti-farmer bills. If they do not do so immediately, we will agitate throughout the state and country. From the very start, we have been strongly opposing these anti-farm bills.”
Earlier, a group of top sportspersons and coaches from Punjab had announced that they would return all their medals and awards in solidarity with the Dilli Chalo farmers’ protests. They said that on December 5 they will proceed to Delhi and place their awards outside Rashtrapati Bhavan. Among them includes Padma Shri and Arjuna awardee wrestler Kartar Singh, Arjuna awardee basketball player Sajjan Singh Cheema and Arjuna awardee hockey player Rajbir Kaur. They claim they were angered by the ‘force’ used by the police against the farmers.
Also, former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has written to President Ram Nath Kovind expressing a wish to return his Padma Vibhushan award to protest against the new farm law. The 92-year-old received the country’s second-highest civilian honour in 2015.