Invited again for talks on farm laws by Centre, says Punjab farmer bodies

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A decision on whether to accept the invitation will be taken at a meeting in Jalandhar on October 13, they said.

Punjab’s farmers’ organisations, who have been protesting against the new farm laws, on Sunday said the Centre has once again invited them for talks on the issue on October 14.

A decision on whether to accept the invitation will be taken at a meeting in Jalandhar on October 13, they said.

The farmers’ organisations, whose agitation against the farm laws has disrupted rail traffic and severely impacted coal supply for thermal power plants in Punjab, had last week rejected the Union Agriculture Department’s invitation to participate in a “conference to address their concerns” on October 8.

“We have received an invitation for a meeting on October 14,” said Jagmohan Singh, general secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda).

“Though the invite has come from the agriculture secretary, it mentions that the central government wants to talk to farmers,” he said.

“All farmers’ organisations will decide whether to go to Delhi for talks in a meeting slated for October 13 in Jalandhar,” he added.

Farmers in Punjab have been demanding that these three laws be repealed.

They have been holding a ‘rail roko’ agitation against the “anti-farmer” laws, with protesters squatting on railway tracks at various places in the State since September 24.

Farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws will destroy the minimum support price mechanism, end Agricultural Produce Market Committees and allow corporates to arm-twist them.

The government, however, has been saying that these laws, which were passed by Parliament recently amid a vociferous Opposition protest, will raise farmers’ income, free them from the clutches of the middleman and usher in new technology in farming.

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