The united forum of farmers’ organisations rejected the Centre’s offer for talks on the three contentious farm reform laws and asked the government to come up with an agenda for the meeting that includes repealing the laws. Talking to media here on Wednesday after a joint meeting, the farmer leaders said the Centre should take the matter seriously.
In a reply to the Joint Secretary in the Union Agriculture Ministry Vivek Agarwal, the unions said they will be ready for talks only if the Centre comes with an open mind. Rather than repeating the proposed amendments to the three farm laws, it should make concrete suggestions as an agenda for the next round of talks, the letter said.
The farmers’ leaders took objection to several references in the Centre’s letter that belittle the struggles of farmers and portray them as terrorists. The Centre is taking refuge in manipulative politics. Other than that it is trying to equate the protesting farmers’ organisations with paper organisations who have nothing to do with this agitation. This stand of the Centre has strengthened our resolve to protest, the letter said.
‘Left hijacking protest’
Meanwhile, the BJP maintained that Left wing elements are trying to hijack the protests. “For 25 years, till 2018, there was a Left government in Tripura. I feel sad in saying that there was no MSP in the State. Today, the Left leaders are acting as well wishers of the farmers, but all they did was to exploit them,” said BJP spokesman Sambit Patra. “Wherever there is Left, the farmers have been exploited,” he added.
But the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee leader Yogendra Yadav said, “All the farmers’ bodies unanimously demanded that the three farm laws should be repealed. There is no Left, right division in this demand.”
‘Hollow and fake’
AIKSCC claimed in a statement said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claims of development are hollow and fake and designed to favour corporate growth. “The new Contract Act says in Section 9 that the farmer can obtain expenses through separate debt deeds signed with financial institutions, which means land and property will be mortgaged. Section 14.2 states that all the advances obtained by the farmer from the company will be recovered under section 14.7 as arrears of land revenue.”
AIKSCC is preparing to intensify boycott of products sold by companies owned by Ambani and Adani. With large arrivals from Western UP, Maharashtra, MP and Karnataka, strength of protestors at all dharna sites is increasing, the statement added.