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Centre calls protesting farmers for talks on December 1

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has invited protesting farmers for talks at 3 pm on Tuesday citing the winter season and pandemic.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: December 01, 2020 0:04 IST
Farmers protest, Singhu border, Delhi Chalo agitation
Image Source : PTI

Farmers protest at the Singhu border during their ongoing Delhi Chalo agitation against Centres new farm laws, in New Delhi.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has invited protesting farmers for talks at 3 pm on Tuesday citing the winter season and pandemic, since they are holding agitations in cold on roads and highways. The talks were earlier scheduled for December 3. Speaking on the matter, the Union Minister said it was decided that next round of talks will be held on December 3 but farmers are agitating, it's winter and there's COVID. So meeting should be held earlier. So farmer leaders - present in 1st round of talks - have been invited at Vigyan Bhavan on December 1 (Tuesday) at 3 pm.

"When Farm laws were brought, they caused some misconception among farmers. We held two rounds of talks with farmer leaders on October 14 and November 13. At that time too we had urged them to not go for agitation and that the government is ready for talks, Narendra Singh Tomar added.

Earlier, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar met Home Minister Amit Shah for the second time in less than 24 hours after farmers protesting at Delhi borders. 

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Farmers began their march from Punjab on Thursday. They reached the Delhi borders via Haryana on Friday. Although the police allowed them to demonstrate at the Burari ground, they are camping at the Singhu (Delhi-Haryana) and Tikri borders for the past three days.

Rejecting the Centre's offer to hold talks once they move to the Burari ground, the farmers protesting at all Delhi border points said they will not accept any conditional dialogue and have called a meeting to discuss their next course of action later in the day. Farmers are asking for Ramlila Maidan which is located in the heart of the national capital. It can accommodate over a lakh people, but police fear that the number could rise.

Earlier on Sunday evening, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar held deliberations over the farmers' protest with BJP president JP Nadda. The farmers are protesting against the government’s three farm laws.

Shah has already appealed to the protesting farmers to shift to the Burari ground to stage their protests and said the Centre was ready to hold discussions with them as soon as they move to the designated place.

ALSO READ | In Delhi for 'decisive battle', farmers refuse to budge, say agitation will continue until demands met

Tomar had also last week said that the Centre was ready to hold talks with farmers anytime, and appealed to them to call off their agitation and come for discussion. After the farm reform bills were passed in monsoon session of parliament, Singh on behalf of the government held deliberations with various stake holders of the farm sector.

Farmer leader Surjeet Singh Phul on Sunday explained why they have rejected the Burari ground offer. He said that the Burari ground is an open jail and "we will never accept to assemble there". "We refuse to go to Burari. We have enough ration to survive for at least four months,” he said.

ALSO READ | PM Modi reaches out to protesting farmers, cautions them against falling prey to 'propaganda'

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