NDTV News

New Delhi:
The farmers’ representatives have turned down the Centre’s second pitch for a committee to discuss the contentious farm laws, protests against which are intensifying by the day. “Now is not the time for a committee,” sources quoted farmers’ representatives as saying at the meeting with three central ministers this evening. More farmers from Punjab and khaps from Haryana are making their way to the national capital, demanding that the laws be repealed. Though the government is firm that the laws will not be withdrawn, sources said it will try to dispel concerns about the minimum support price and mandis. The farmers have said they will continue the protest if their demands are not accepted.

Here are the top 10 points in this big story:

  1. Agriculture minister Narendra Tomar had suggested the formation of a committee, asking farmers to put down the names of their representatives who would be part of it, sources said. The committee, he said, should also have people from the government and agricultural experts, and should discuss the new agricultural law.

  2. “We do not accept the government’s proposal to set up a special committee. We demand that the government cancel the laws related to agrarian reform. We are not going to back down even if the government uses force. Our protest will continue,” Roop Singh, a leader of key farmers’ organisation  Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Grahan), told NDTV.

  3. The idea of setting up a Special Committee was also floated in the second round of meeting on November 13. But many farmer union leaders are strongly opposed to this and demand a categorical assurance that the three new Laws will be annulled.

  4. Agriculture minister Narendra Tomar, his cabinet colleague Piyush Goyal and junior industry minister Som Prakash are meeting the 35-member team of farmers. The meeting had started shortly after 3 pm at Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan, .

  5. Naresh Tikait, the chief of Bharatiya Kisan Union, said: “The government called the Punjab delegation at 3 pm. Later, the government will hold a meeting with representatives from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Delhi at 7 pm today. We all want a final decision on the matter.”

  6. Earlier today, the farmers said they have agreed to attend the talks as the government called them without any precondition. But they have also made it clear that they are ready for a long haul and have enough rations to wait out a year in Delhi if need be.

  7. “We’ll demand the new laws be repealed and a law be brought on MSP. If the government doesn’t agree, the protests will continue,” Jagjit Singh Dallewal of the Bharatiya Kisan Union said.

  8. This morning, Union home minister Amit Shah had a meeting with defence minister Rajnath Singh, railway minister Piyush Goyal and agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar at the home of BJP chief JP Nadda. This was the third high-level meeting in the last 48 hours.

  9. A group of top sportspersons and coaches from Punjab said they will return their awards and march to Delhi on December 5 in solidarity with the farmers. “They have been holding peaceful agitation for several months. But water cannons and teargas shells were used against them,” said Olympic hockey player and Arjuna awardee Sajjan Singh Cheema.

  10. Thousands of farmers, who have braved water cannons, tear gas and police barricades, began their protest last week against the farm laws, aimed at doing away with middlemen and allowing them to sell produce anywhere in the country. Farmers say the laws will deprive them of the minimum prices fixed by the government and leave them at the mercy of corporates.

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