Ahead of talks, Agriculture Minister appeals to farmer unions to call off tractor rally

Gwalior: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday hoped that protesting farmer unions will discuss alternatives other than the repeal of the new farm laws in the tenth round of talks and appealed to them not to go ahead with their tractor rally on Republic Day in Delhi.

The crucial tenth round of meeting with 41 farm unions is scheduled for Tuesday. The talks have failed to yield any concrete results as the agitating unions have stuck to their main demand for repealing the agri laws and the government has ruled out any such step.

Speaking to reporters here, Tomar said: “Tomorrow, there is a meeting. I am hopeful that farmers’ unions will discuss alternatives (other than the repeal of the laws) so that we can reach a solution.”

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The current stalemate continues because no discussion is happening on provisions of the laws from unions’ side, he said.

Reiterating that new agri-laws are in the interest of the farming community, the minister said there is opposition in some states.

“We had nine rounds of talks so far. I have always said that farmers’ unions should discuss the provisions of the laws. The government is discussing and wants to discuss with an open heart if they point out any problem with provisions of the laws,” he said.

The minister also said that the central government is fully committed to farmers. The Modi government has rolled out several agri-schemes in the last six years to improve farmers’ plight and make farming profitable.

On protesting farmers’ plan to hold a tractor rally in Delhi on Republic Day, Tomar said, “I want to appeal to farmers that January 26 is our Republic Day and the country has got independence after much sacrifice

“Ensuring that the dignity of the Republic day is not affected is the responsibility of farmers also. I hope they will reconsider their decision.”

Protesting union leaders on Monday said in the national capital that farmers have a constitutional right to take out their tractor rally peacefully and asserted that thousands of people will participate in the proposed event on January 26.

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