Farmers’ demonstration | Only oral government assurances, say farmers

Agriculture ministry officials say no timetable has been reached to change the stubble burning ordinance.

Although an agreement has been reached on exempting farmers from penal provisions for stubble burning under an air quality ordinance in the capital, the Center does not plan to take action. until all the other issues with the protesting farmer groups are also resolved. Asked about the timetable for amending the ordinance, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture noted that only an agreement “in principle” had been reached during Wednesday’s negotiations with peasant leaders who were protesting.

“Since the talks are still in progress, once everything is finalized, the timetable etc. can be discussed. It was a policy decision that two of their demands were acceptable to the government, ”said a senior agriculture ministry official. The Hindu. “The terms and timing will be in line with the final agreement. Once everything is finalized, only then will we do it. “

Farmers’ demonstration | Young farmers break down police barricades in Shahjahanpur

Minor issues

Farmer leaders said government action on agreements already reached would help build confidence for future negotiations. However, they also pointed out that these were minor issues compared to unresolved demands to repeal three contentious agricultural reform laws and provide a legal guarantee for the MSP.

“There was only a verbal commitment from the government. No written agreement was given to us. But they can easily act on the parali [stubble burning] and order the Pollution Board to make changes to exempt farmers. Let them do it, ”said Yudhvir Singh, general secretary of Union Bharatiya Kisan-Tikait, who was part of the farmers’ delegation during the talks.

“What they did, let them do,” said Hannan Mollah, general secretary of All India Kisan Sabha, who was also a member of the farmers’ delegation. “But it’s just a peripheral problem. Our main request is for the repeal of the three acts. So in fact there is only 1% progress, 99% blockage after the talks yesterday. This is not 50% progress because the [Agriculture Minister] claims.”

Data | Farmers, new agricultural laws and public markets

Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella front representing all protest groups, said no concrete solutions had been found on the main issues. “However, the assurance of the withdrawal of two ordinances is a major victory because this decision protects the federal structure of the country and prevents privatization,” he said in a statement Thursday. In addition to decriminalizing stubble burning, agreement was also reached on amendments to protect electricity subsidies in a draft electricity bill.

Answer Sunday

Morcha will hold an internal consultation on Saturday to discuss a response to the government’s demand for ‘alternatives to repeal’, but most farm leaders insisted there were no alternatives on the table. “We all agree that we want a complete repeal,” Singh said. They will send a written response to the Center on Sunday, before the next round of talks on Monday.

Earlier today, around 100 young farmers in 25 tractor-drawn trucks passed police barricades at the Rajasthan-Haryana border in Shahjahanpur. Police in Haryana opposed them using water cannons and tear gas, and arrested them further on the Jaipur-Delhi highway in Rewari. All India Coordinating Committee Kisan Sangharsh leaders say they called on young people not to break down the barricades, but also condemned the police action.

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