Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Wednesday met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and discussed the ongoing farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s farm laws.
Lending her support Mamata Banerjee said, “Industries are suffering and GST is being levied on medicines. For the last 7 months, they (Central government) didn't bother to speak to farmers. I demand that all three farm laws are withdrawn.”
Farmer leader Tikait also said, “The Chief Minister assured us that she will continue to support the farmers' movement. We thank her for this assurance. West Bengal should work as a model state and farmers should be given more benefits.”
Meanwhile, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Wednesday also said that the government is ready to resume talks with protesting farmers but asked the unions to point out their objections to the provisions of the three farm laws with sound logic.
The government and unions have held 11 rounds of talks, the last being on January 22, to break the deadlock and end the farmers' protest.
Talks have not resumed following widespread violence during a tractor rally by protesting farmers on January 26.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at Delhi's borders for more than six months in protest against the three laws that they say will end state procurement of crops at MSP.
The Supreme Court has put on hold the implementation of the three laws till further orders and set up a committee to find solutions.
"All political parties of the country wanted to bring the farm laws, but they could not gather courage to bring them. Modi government took this big step in the interest of farmers and brought reforms. Farmers got benefit of that in several parts of the country. But in the meantime farmers agitation started," Tomar said at a Cabinet briefing.