The farmers protest continues with the ninth round of discussions going on between the farmers demanding revocation of the three agriculture laws and the centre -- held days after the Supreme Court has not come up with a resolve in the issue.
According to farmer leader Dr Darshanpal the strategy is not a good one."It was a 120 per cent failure. We suggested that the government remove the changes made to the Essential Commodities Act instead of scrapping it altogether. But the Agriculture Minister has not said anything on this,"
More discussion is set to take place on January 19th the day the committee appointed by the court was likely to speak to stakeholders to end the deadlock.
To have their message heard louderer and clearer the farmer unions have decided to go ahead with a massive tractor rally on January 26, the Republic Day of India, which is also an official holiday in the nation. Dr Darshanpal stressed with much emphasis that "Our proposed Tractor rally will be held, will be held, will be held,"
The 40 farmers' unions leaders negotiating with the centre also said they want to be heard throught direct communication with the centre not as brokers. They are firm on the stance that they will not make a showing before the panel since the members were already in "favour of the farm laws".
The government has agreed to engage directly with farmers, but said that if they want they are more than welcome to go to the court-appointed committee as well. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said "The government and farmers should continue looking for solutions, formally and informally. Whatever we can agree on during these talks will decide the future course of action. The government is committed to follow the Supreme Court's order,"
During Friday's meeting farmer leaders also brought up the issue of raids by central agencies on those supporting their movement logistically, and use of strict Unlawful Activities Prevention Act against them. The centre, which had earlier blamed the raids on the state government, has said it will investigate the issue.
Some farmers have also started demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention to put an end to the talks that are being led by the Agriculture Minister, Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash, who is an MP from Punjab.
On January 12, the Supreme court put the three farm laws on hold and formed a panel noting that "there is no solution in sight"
Tens of thousands of farmers have camped out around the capital, Delhi for 3 months demanding annulment of three farm laws as the farmers feel that the laws are corporate friendly and anti farmer.
The centre has maintained the laws would provide new marketing channels and increase their income by eliminating middlemen.
Photo courtesy of Istock.