29 farmers’ organizations, which have been protesting against the new agrarian reform laws for three weeks, agreed to hold talks with the central government on Tuesday. Representatives of most of the farmers’ organizations left for Delhi yesterday evening and they are likely to meet Sanjay Aggarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture. The meeting will be attended by members of a seven-member committee set up by farmer unions. The decision was taken at a meeting of the uniting committee of unions held at Kisan Bhavan in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
A seven-member panel has been formed to hold talks with the Centre, said BharatiyaKisan Union chief Balbir Singh Rajewal while addressing the media. The leaders included in the panel are Balbir Singh Rajewal, Darshan Pal, Jagjit Singh Dalewal, Jagmohan Singh, Kulwant Singh, Surjit Singh and Satnam Singh Sahni.
“We have decided that representatives of all farmers’ bodies will attend the meeting,” said Rajewal. Rajewal further informed, “we have discussed all the issues and drafted them. Which will be kept in a meeting with the Secretary of Agriculture in Delhi.”
“The opinion of the farmers’ associations regarding the laws will be submitted to them in writing. After this Sanjay Agarwal will inform us when can we meet the ministerial group that will hold talks with the farmers’ associations, “added Rajewal.
Rajewal also made it very clear that any talks or negotiations related to the new agricultural laws will only be discussed with a group of ministers. Further, when asked about opening the railway tracks he said that the rail roko movement will continue until the centre decides on their demands.
Balbir Singh Rajewal said that the peasant movement is spreading across the country. If no solution is found in the talks with the central government, then a meeting of various farmer organizations of the country will be held in Delhi or Chandigarh. It will begin with a call for a Bharat Bandh on November 5, outlining a nationwide conflict. On not calling other farmer organizations of the country for talks on behalf of the Center, Rajewal said that since the protests started in Punjab, the farmers’ associations of Punjab have been called for talks. At the same time, on the shortage of coal and urea in the state, Rajewal said that such misleading statements are being given only to break the struggle.
It is to be noted that two cabinet ministers of Punjab, Trupt Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, reached a meeting of farmers associations with Captain Sandeep Sandhu, political advisor to Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, to end the rail roko movement of farmers. When he appealed to stop the rail roko movement, the farmers’ organizations said that its decision will be taken in the meeting on 15 October. After the meeting, Trupt Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Cabinet Minister, Punjab said, “Talks have been held with farmers and the government has put its side before the farmers. The state government has also assured that it will continue to support farmers in their struggle. The farmers have demanded to call an assembly session. In the cabinet meeting to be held on Wednesday, a decision will be taken to call the assembly session.”