Jan 15 talks inconclusive: Centre and farmers remain at loggerheads

Farmer leaders said they will not budge from their demand for repeal of the three laws and legalisation of MSP

farmers protest

Stalemate between farmer leaders and Union Ministers continued after the January 15, 2021 meeting wherein both parties remained firm on their stand regarding the three agriculture laws of the central government.

Members agreed to hold the next meeting on January 19 after hour-long talks wherein farmers kept demanding the repeal of the laws and the government kept proposing amendments.

Ministers recommended that leaders form their own informal group to draft a proposal for discussion. However, Unions refused the suggestion stating that few leaders talked during recent talks with central officials.

Incidentally, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) President and All India Kisan Coordination Committee Chairperson Bhupinder Singh Mann refused to join the court-appointed four-member committee on January 14 saying that “I will always stand with my farmers and Punjab”. He announced his decision shortly before the committee was to hold its first virtual meeting.

On behalf of the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM,) farmer leader Darshan Pal welcomed Mann’s decision to leave the committee and called on other members to follow suit.

According to the Indian Express, farmers on Friday raised the issue of FIRs against protesting farmers, Income Tax raids on arhtiyas (commission agents) and NIA notices to three transporters sending buses to Delhi and a journalist. They alleged that the central government was attacking farmer supporters and told Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Prakash, “We are farmers, not your political rivals.”

Later in the day, Pal said in a press release that farmers were encouraged by the increasing support at the national and international level. People across India burned copies of the three laws on various festivals on January 13 and January 14. “This movement is becoming nationwide and a mass movement. We thank all the organizations and individuals who have supported the farmer movement in any form,” said Pal.

The farmer leader further said that peasants would not be satisfied by a court decision on the matter of the three laws.

“The Lok Sabha is the house of leaders elected by the people of India. These laws have been made by Parliament too and should be repealed, this is our demand,” said Pal.

Regarding the January 26 Farmers Republic day parade, the SKM said, “Many misconceptions are being spread about the Kisan Republic parade. We are making it clear that we have no motive to harm the parade of the Government of India. The detailed plan for this parade will be revealed at a meeting of farmers’ organizations on January 17 and only after the hearing of the Supreme Court on 18 January.”

Accordingly, the organisation condemned inflammatory statements by the Sikhs for Justice organisation and urged farmers to be aware of such organizations.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra’s Mumbai for Farmers organisation and other progressive organizations announced a huge rally and general meeting on January 16. The SKM appealed for maximum participation for the event.

Moreover, in response to the Court’s anti-women-dubbed remark, a batch of women from Jalgaon district in the state will leave for Delhi soon. A “Kisan Jyoti Yatra” started from Pune on January 12 to reach Delhi on January 26.

Similarly, over 500 farmers went to the Shahjahanpur border from Kerala. Tamil Nadu farmers also responded to the Indian government’s claim that southern state farmers support these laws by burning copies of the laws.

In Uttarakhand and Rajasthan, there are frequent tractor marches while farmers in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh observe continuous dharnas.

In Odisha, the “Kisan Delhi Chalo Yatra” started from Odisha on January 15. The yatra will reach the Delhi border on January 21 via West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh.



NIA summons farmers union leader Baldev Singh Sirsa for questioning

Khalistani, anti-farmer elements have infiltrated protests: Centre to SC

Women farmers, students write open letter against SC’s comment on women farmers

Banned organisations in India

Maharashtra farmers plan large-scale protest leading upto Jan 26

Are the new farm laws constitutional?

Do farmers’ demands benefit India’s hungry population?



Related Articles