Farmers open to dialogue, affirms Jagjit Singh Dallewal amidst protests


PTI, Feb 14, 2024, 3:53 PM IST

Farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal on Wednesday said they are ready for holding talks with the Centre over their demands, including a legal guarantee to minimum support price.

Citing media reports, Dallewal said Union Minister Anurag Thakur has, in his statement, said that the Centre was ready for holding talks and was also ready to resolve the issues of the farmers.

”We do not want to give any room to the Centre for saying that it was inviting us, but they did not accept it. That we have accepted and we are ready for talks,” he told reporters at the Shambhu border.

Dallewal said the farmer leaders have taken the consent of fellow farmers for holding talks.

”After taking their consent, we will hold talks,” he said.

”Our priority is that the talks should take place in Chandigarh,” asserted Dallewal, who is the president of Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Sidhupur).

”If they (the Centre) have given an invitation after seeing all this and said they are ready to resolve their issues then we should hear them,” he added.

Replying to a question, Dallewal said that till now, no invitation has been received for holding a dialogue.

He also criticized the Centre for police action against the protesting farmers at the two borders of Punjab and Haryana.

Dallewal, however, refuted the claims of the Haryana Police that the protesting farmers had pelted stones at the security personnel.

The farmer leaders have so far held talks twice with the government. The first talk was with Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda and Nityanand Rai, while the second was with Goyal and Munda in Chandigarh. Both these meetings remained inconclusive.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha are spearheading the ‘Delhi Chalo’ agitation to put pressure on the Centre for their demands, including a law on minimum support price for crops and loan waivers.

Besides a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP), the farmers are also demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, pensions for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, withdrawal of police cases and ”justice” for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstate the Land Acquisition Act 2013, withdraw from the World Trade Organisation, and compensation for families of the farmers who died during the previous agitation, among others.

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