Union Home Minister Amit Shah on November 28 said the government was ready to hold talks with farmers, who are protesting against the recently passed farm bills, and urged them to shift their protest to a “structured place”.
“I appeal to the protesting farmers that the Government of India is ready to hold talks. Agriculture Minister has invited them on December 3 for discussion. The government is ready to deliberate on every problem and demand of the farmers,” Shah told ANI.
He said discussions can be held sooner, if farmers shift their protest to a structured place.
“If farmers' unions want to hold discussions before December 3 then, I want to assure you all that as soon as you shift your protest to structured place, the government will hold talks to address your concerns the very next day,” he said.
“At many places, farmers are staying with their tractors and trollies on highways in this cold. I appeal to them that Delhi Police are ready to shift you to big ground, please go there. You will be given police permission to hold programmes there,” he added.
Thousands of farmers have reached the national capital on their tractor-trolleys and other vehicles, responding to the 'Delhi Chalo' call against the agri-marketing laws enacted at the Centre in September.
Farmer unions in Punjab and Haryana say the recent laws enacted at the Centre will dismantle the minimum support price (MSP) system. Over time big corporate houses will dictate terms and farmers will end up getting less for their crops, they argue.
Farmers fear that with the virtual disbanding of the mandi system, they will not get an assured price for their crops and the arthiyas - commission agents who also pitch in with loans for them - will be out of business.Their key demand is the withdrawal of the three laws which deregulate the sale of their crops. The farmer unions could also settle for a legal assurance that the MSP system will continue, ideally through an amendment to the laws.