Government Proposes Five-Year Agreement with Farmers in Fourth Round of Talks

meeting at chandigarh

Chandigarh: Union Minister Piyush Goyal announced late on Sunday night that the government has proposed a five-year agreement with farmers to purchase pulses and cotton at the Minimum Support Price (MSP). The proposal was made to cooperative societies NCCF (National Consumer Cooperative Federation of India Limited) NAFED (Indian National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation), and the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI).

Fourth Round of Talks with Farmer Leaders

The fourth round of talks between Union ministers and farmer leaders, which began in Chandigarh on Sunday evening, ended late at night. Union Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, and Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai attended the meeting. Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann also attended the meeting. The talks were held in a cordial atmosphere, and farmer leaders are expected to inform about their decision on the government’s proposals by tomorrow.

Farmers’ Protests and Demands

Farmers are protesting against other demands including a legal guarantee for MSP of their produce. They also demanded implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations for the welfare of farmers, pension and loan waiver for farmers and farm laborers, justice for the victims of Lakhimpur Kheri violence, restoration of the Land Acquisition Act 2013, and compensation to the families of the farmers killed during the last agitation.

Samyukta Kisan Morcha’s (SKM) Announcement

Ahead of the meeting of farmers and ministers, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) announced that they would protest for three days from Tuesday to pressure the Center to accept farmers’ demands, including a legal guarantee of MSP for crops. They plan to protest in front of the residences of BJP’s Punjab unit leaders, including MPs, MLAs, and district unit presidents, from Tuesday to Thursday. They also plan to protest at all toll barriers in the state and make them free for all commuters from February 20 to 22.

Farmer Leaders’ Statements

Farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal stated that the central government should not adopt the policy of procrastination and should accept the demands of the farmers before the code of conduct is implemented. He warned that if the government continues the meetings till the code of conduct is implemented and then says that the code of conduct has been implemented and they cannot do anything, the farmers will not return. He urged the government to find a solution to their demands before implementing the code of conduct.

Support from Bharatiya Kisan Union (Chadhuni) and Khaps

In Kurukshetra, Haryana, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Chadhuni) chief Gurnam Singh Chadhuni and some Khaps participated in a panchayat to prepare a plan of action in support of the protesting farmers of Punjab. They decided to unite all farmer organizations to protest in support of the movement. Khap leader O.P. Dhankhar stated that the Khaps of Haryana are in support of the movement and the Central Government should not delay in giving legal guarantee of MSP.

meeting at chandigarh

Internet Services Suspended

On the orders of the Union Home Ministry, the ban on internet services in select areas of some districts of Punjab including Patiala, Sangrur, and Fatehgarh Sahib has been extended till February 24. The suspension was initially implemented from February 12 to February 16 in view of the farmers’ ‘Delhi Chalo’ march.