Sanyukta Kisan Morcha, one of the outfits at the forefront of the ongoing farmers' agitation, has responded to a letter by the Agriculture Ministry. In a three-page letter dated December 24, Vivek Aggarwal, a joint secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture had requested protesting farmers to suggest a date and time for the next round of talks with the Centre.
Responding to Aggarwal, the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha said it was upset that the government in its letter to farmers tried to hide the facts from previous rounds of talks in a bid to mislead the public. "We have been demanding the repeal of the three farm laws in every round of discussion. The government twisted it and presented it to suggest that we are seeking amendments to these laws."
"In your letter, you have said that the government wants to dutifully listen to what the farmers have to say. If you really want this, first stop making false statements about the issues farmers raised and how, also, stop spreading misinformation against farmers by use of government machinery," the farmers' union went on to say.
Acknowledging that the Centre is ready to discuss the issue with farmers at a convenient time, the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha has suggested 11 am on December 29 for the next round of talks.
In its letter to the joint secretary Vivek Aggarwal, the farmers' union also listed four points which will serve as the agenda for the meeting on December 29. These points are:
1. Modalities to be adopted for the repeal of the three Central farm laws
2. Mechanisms to be adopted to make remunerative MSP recommended by the National Farmers' Commission into a legally guaranteed entitlement for all farmers and all agricultural commodities
3. Amendments to be made and notified in the "Commission for the Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2020" to exclude farmers from the penal provisions of the Ordinance
4. Changes to be made in the draft Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 to protect the interests of farmers
"We want to reiterate that the farmers' union is and will always be ready to speak to the Centre with an open mind, the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha added.
(With inputs from Aneesha Mathur)