Farmers’ stir enters 9th day, Tension mounts; Inconclusive talks with Govt. to resume Tomorrow
Ahead of another round of talks with the government tomorrow, Scores of agitating farmers from Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and other states amassed themselves on Delhi borders on the ninth consecutive day of their movement for the rollback of what they described as newly enacted “Black farm bills”.
The stir has upended normal life near the borders because of traffic snarls. The Delhi Traffic Police has posted several tweets about the closure of borders due to the farmers’ agitation.
Tension mounted further today as law enforcing agencies beefed up security arrangements on borders with additional force, cranes, and cemented blocks.
In protest against the bills, Akali leader and former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal returned his Padma Vibhushan award, and dissident Akali Dal leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, too, said he will return his Padma Bhushan.
Delhi Traffic Police has tweeted: “The Gazipur border on NH 24 is closed for traffic from Gaziabad to Delhi due to farmers’ protests. People are advised to avoid NH 24 for coming to Delhi and use Apsara/ Bhopra/DND for coming to Delhi
The chilla border on Noida link road is closed for traffic from Noida to Delhi due to farmers’ protests near Gautam Budh Dwar. People are advised to avoid Noida link road for coming to Delhi and use DND.
Tikri, Jharoda Borders are closed for any Traffic Movement. Badusarai Border is open only for Light Motor Vehicle like Cars and two-wheelers. Jhatikara Border is open only for two-wheeler traffic
Available Open Borders to Haryana are following Borders Dhansa, Daurala, Kapashera, Rajokri NH 8, Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar, and Dundahera Border.”
Informatively, representatives of forty Farmers’ Unions who were invited by Union Agriculture Minister for talks participated in a dialogue today at Vigyan Bhawan with Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Railways and Commerce Piyush Goel, and Minister of State for Commerce Som Prakash.
Senior officials from the Agriculture Ministry and the Ministry of Food Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution also participated in the dialogue. This was the fourth round of talks which was held in a cordial and frank atmosphere. The Unions have agreed to further participate in the next meeting on 5th December.
According to an official release, At the outset of the talks, Union Agriculture Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to the welfare of the farmers. He requested the representatives of the Unions to present their point of view and flag the issues which they felt were contentious.
The representatives of the farmer’s unions raised the question of the constitutional validity of the three laws. The Government side explained the constitutional provisions under which the Central Government legislated these laws. The farmers brought out issues related to the APMCs – They said that there has to be a level playing field between APMCs and Private Markets and Trade Yards. They also said that there is a need for proper registration of Trade outside APMCs.
The issue of protecting the land of farmers in the Contract Farming Act was also raised. The farmer’s unions also requested that the MSP system should be made legal. Regarding the dispute resolution system in the new Farms Acts the unions said that there is a need for an alternate dispute resolution system. The need for registration of contract farming was also flagged.
The Secretary Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Sanjay Agarwal gave a detailed description of the Farms Acts and the measures taken by the Ministry of Agriculture for the welfare of farmers and those measures taken to benefit agriculture during the lockdown period to keep the supply chains active. He said that the Farm Acts have been framed keeping in mind the farmer’s welfare.Agriculture Minister Mr. Tomar assured the Unions that the Minimum support price will remain and therefore the farmers should not fear that it will go away.
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