Farmers united body Kisan Samyukt Morcha, wrote a letter addressing to PM Narendra Modi seeking his urgent intervention of resuming talks, against the NDA Government Three Farm Laws. The agitating farmers have had 11 rounds of talks with the government, with no solution brought out to the matter of three farm laws.
The letter was sent to PM Modi, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Prakash. The letter mentions of resumption of dialogue between the Union Government and the farmers but they remain determined on their demand of revoking of the farm laws and want a law promising Minimum Support Price (MSP).
The letter quotes “Mr Prime Minister, this letter is to remind you that, as the head of the government of the largest democracy in the world, the onus of resuming a serious and sincere dialogue with the farmers lies with you.”
The farmers mostly belonging from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, have been sitting across different Delhi border :- Singhu, Ghaziabad, Tikri, Dhansa and at Shahjahanpur on the Rajasthan-Haryana border, for past 5 months, in large numbers and in small groups across India. The Samyukt Kisan Morcha warns the government of, working on an action plan of resuming the dialogue swiftly, or else on 26th May, the agitation of the farmers will intensify, observing 6 months completion of the protest and 7th year anniversary of the Modi government.
The 11th and the last round of talks between 40 members of Farmers Union and government was held on 22nd January. The deadlock has continued since, with the farmers refusing to comply on their demand for repeal of the three legislative laws whereas the government continues conceding to make amendments and refuses to withdraw the Acts. Therefore, citing the lack of progression, the government offered the farmers unions of freezing the law for 18 months, which was again refused by the Farmers leaders. The letter read “your government chose to turn this into a prestige point and refused to budge. Worse, your government has shut the doors for any dialogue since 22nd January 2021, even when you claimed the opposite. We have so far lost more than 470 colleagues in this movement due to this obstinacy on the part of your government.”
The farmers accused the Modi government of letting the annadatas, to continue with their agitation, despite second wave of COVID-19 outbreak. On the other hand, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Bhopal Singh urged protesting farmers to postpone the agitation during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis appealing them to stand with the nation. ANI quotes Singh’s urge, “two farmers died at Singhu border due to coronavirus. If farmers will keep dying like this who will agitate? I would like to
request to farmers, that looking at the crisis in the country, we must postpone agitation for the time being.”
While the farmers claim that they do want to distract the government from handling the pandemic situation, meanwhile they warn them of intensifying the protest. The letter adds “we have waited patiently for the past four months. But if we do not have a constructive and positive response from your government by the 25th of this month, we shall be constrained to announce a further intensification of our struggle in the next phase, beginning with the national day of protest on the 26th of May.”
The three bills :- The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance, Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020; passed by the Modi government last year in September.
The government says, these laws will strengthen basic farm sector infrastructure and boost private investment, with letting farmers directly sell their products in the market, without any involvement of middlemen. Although, the farmers say the laws will license corporate giants to buy their lands at cheap prices instead of selling their products at government run mandis which offer them minimum support prices (MSP).