Union Minister Arjun Munda, responding to the farmers’ march ‘Delhi Chalo’, emphasized the need for time and deliberation to address the concerns raised by the farming community.
Reaffirming the government’s commitment to protecting the welfare of farmers, the Union Minister said, “We care about the interests of farmers. We are not worried if anyone plays politics on this issue. We have always been ready for talks and debates and “We are ready to do everything possible to find a solution to this problem.”
“This issue also concerns state governments. We need time to understand this issue and find a method to resolve it,” he added.
Munda highlighted the importance of consultation and collaboration with states to formulate a viable solution.
“There will be a need for consultations. We need to discuss this with the states. We need to prepare a forum for discussions and find a solution,” the Union Minister said.
“The Government of India is obliged to protect the interests of farmers and at the same time ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the public. The farmers union must understand this so that the interests of farmers are protected,” he added.
“I went to Chandigarh twice and spoke to the farmers’ organizations and while speaking to the farmers’ organisations, I said that we are trying our best to demand from the Government of India and this has been conveyed to them. We have met twice before this. And we had a completely positive discussion. We took it the right way,” he added.
On Congress and other parties supporting farmers, Arjun Munda said, “I will not say anything on this issue because we are more concerned about the interests of farmers. Is there anyone doing politics, what is he doing and what is he not doing in “That? We don’t have to go into that.”
On farmers alleging that the government’s proposal is not up to the mark, Munda said, “We went for talks, we will find a solution through talks, after all, why did we go to Chandigarh? We ourselves went there, Piyush Goyal ji, Nityanand Rai. Ji, our officials and it will be resolved only through talks.”
Arjun Munda is part of the team of ministers holding talks with farmer leaders, which also includes Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal, Law Minister Nityanand Rai and Punjab Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal.
Earlier on Monday, a recent meeting between farmers union leaders and the government ended in a deadlock with no common ground in sight.
Earlier in the day, Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher said all efforts were made in the meeting to find a solution to avoid a confrontation with the government, adding that they anticipated a positive outcome.
The farmers have submitted 12 demands to the central government for which they will march to Delhi.
This time the protest has been called by the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha and Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, headed by farmers union leaders Jagjeet Singh Dallewal and Sarwan Singh Pandher.
According to the protesting farmers, the center promised them better crop prices after which they ended the 2021 protest.
They demand that a law be enacted to ensure minimum support price (MSP) for all crops, as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission report.
They also demand full debt forgiveness and a plan to provide pensions to farmers and agricultural workers.
Farmers have also urged scrapping of the Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020 and demanding reintroduction of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, ensuring farmers’ consent and compensation 4 times the collectors’ fee.
Furthermore, they demand that those involved in the Lakhimpur Kheri murders be punished.
Farmers have also made a call to provide 200 days of employment a year and a daily wage of Rs 700 under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (MGNREGA), linking it with agriculture.
Additionally, a lawsuit has been filed to provide compensation to the families of farmers who died during the 2021 protests and a job for any family members.
(Only the title and image of this report may have been modified by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
First published: February 13, 2024 | 13:16 IS