Ahead of talk with farmers, Union Ministers meet to discuss protests, demands

New Delhi: Ahead of the meeting with the farmer leaders at 3 pm today, amid protests against the recent farm laws, several Union Cabinet Ministers are meeting at the residence of BJP President JP Nadda on Tuesday.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar arrived at the residence of Nadda to hold a meeting to discuss the ongoing farmers’ protest ahead of a key meeting later today.

Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Railways, is also expected to join the meeting.

Tomar, speaking to the reporters here, said that all the farmers’ organisations have been called for a meeting at 3 pm and reiterated that the Central government is ready for discussions.

“Farmer leaders have been invited for talks today at 3 pm. The government is always ready for talks. We can’t hold discussions on road. Let them come and sit across the table,” Tomar said.

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Earlier, several meetings were held between Cabinet Ministers and BJP President JP Nadda over the farmers’ protest.

According to sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been taking feedback from senior ministers including Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and Narendra Singh Tomar.

Rajnath Singh, who has handled agriculture portfolio earlier, is learnt to be in touch with farmer leaders to find a solution to the situation.

Tomar had earlier said that talks will be held on December 3 but Shah had offered to hold talks earlier and had urged farmers to move to Nirankari Samagam ground in Burari area, the site marked for their protest.

Sources said that for the past two days, the ministers have worked the phone lines and there have been backchannel talks to find a way forward. They said various leaders from states who gave had a good rapport with the leadership of agitating farmers were also contacted.

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Meanwhile, PM Narendra Modi had lauded the new agriculture reform laws in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme on Sunday and blamed opposition-peddled “rumours” and “propaganda” for the farmers’ unrest in and at the borders of the national capital.

This comes as farmers from Punjab and Haryana have been protesting against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

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