Farmers term Centre’s invitation for talks as eyewash

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Farmers’ organisations have termed the Centre’s invitation for yet another round of talks as an eyewash and asked the centre to come up with concrete proposals to address the issue. The leaders of kisan outfits said the real issue is that Corporate houses will have legal rights to trade in agricultural produce and the Union Agriculture Ministry’s letter does not talk about this. The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee said in their reply to the Ministry that the Centre’s aim is to promote all corporate interest.

They said the Ministry deliberately twisted facts on the talks and claimed modesty and open mindedness. “The facts are that AIKSCC and all others have sent lacs of representations for repeal which the Government has ignored. When the movement reached Delhi the Government forced farmer leaders to give specific point by point critique of the clauses, in which they unanimously concluded and explained on December 3 that the Acts have to be repealed if the land and livelihood of the farmers of India are to be saved. But the Govt picked and chose eight issues and is now trying to claim that those are the main issues,” a statement from the AIKSCC said.

All India Kisan Sabha leader Hannan Mollah said the Centre has not answered any of the queries raised by the farmers. “It is not letter with straight intentions. They have not taken up our agenda. The invitation is very informal and meaningless,” Mollah said.

A meeting of the various farmers’ outfits have also decided to step up their agitations. “40 of our comrades dies in the severe cold. The Centre is not seeing this and trying to frustrate the farmers so that they will stop their protests. It is a conspiracy,” Mollah added.

AIKSCC added that corporate houses are trying to grab farmland from small owner peasants and water resources for Power Sector, Real Estate and other commercial interests. “This is putting farmers in conflict with the MNCs and the govts’ which serve them. Current movement of the farmers is thus receiving wide support internationally also and already people in 82 countries have come out to protest,” it added.

AIKSCC has organised a protest at the offices of Reliance and Adani groups on Tuesday. A group of farmers from Nasik has started a long march to Delhi. On Wednesday, the farmers will observe fast to express solidarity with the protesting farmers. Leaders are indicating that a group of farmers may soon start indefinite fast demanding the Centre to repeal the three farm laws.

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