New Delhi: The leaders of the Indian Farmers’ Union has agreed to meet with the minister on Tuesday, which may pave the way for the seventh round of talks with the government. So far, the association has failed to reassure growers, who claimed that three new agricultural laws threatened their livelihoods.
Worried over farmers’ round-the-clock sit-ins on the outskirts of New Delhi, the government of Prime Minister Narendra had on Thursday invited protest leaders to further talks.
Farmers’ unions still insist they want the laws repealed, a coalition of unions called Samyukta Kisan Morcha said on Saturday in a letter to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
The government says the laws, which came into force in September, will unshackle farmers from having to sell their produce only at regulated wholesale markets. It argues farmers will gain if large traders, retailers and food processors can buy directly from producers, bypassing antiquated wholesale markets.
But tens of thousands of farmers have set up camps on national highways, demanding that the government withdraw their fears that they will eventually undermine the regulated market and stop the government from buying rice and wheat at guaranteed prices.
According to farmers’ letters read by Reuters, farmers’ leaders will also oppose severe penalties for burning crop residues, which are the main source of air pollution, at a meeting on Tuesday.
Modi refuted the peasant protests because his political opponents were their opponents, while Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the main opposition US Congress Party, accused the Prime Minister of introducing laws to help some businessmen .