The day farmers’ ongoing protest completes the 23rd day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually addressed a farmers’ conference in Madhya Pradesh which made it clear that the government is ready for more talks, leading to probable amendments, but repealing the laws is not quite on its table.
The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that it won’t interfere with the protest at this moment as long as the protest is peaceful. It has also proposed a committee of experts to broker peace between farmers and Centre.
Here are the major takeaways of the 23rd day of the protest:
Main protest gaining strength: The protest gains strength as the All India Kisan Sabha has now extended support to the protesting farmers. Thousands of farmers will start from Nashik on December 21 to come and join the protest in Delhi.
A group comprising 20 Indian doctors from the USA has delayed its return to provide medical services at Tikri border.
Chipko movement leader Sundarlal Bahuguna has extended his support to farmers.
Informal talks with farmers going on, says ministry: Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar in an interview to PTI said solution is likely before this year ends. Though official talks between the Centre and the farmers have not furthered after five rounds, informal talks are going on, Tomar said. “Farm leaders, who are concerned about welfare of farmers, should discuss peasants’ problems. Why should it matter if the acts are repealed or not?” Tomar said.
Farmers have previously objected to Centre parallelly talking to a few groups of farmers organisations.
Farmers our top priority: PM Modi’s message
Explaining the benefits of the new farm laws, Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a one-hour long address to Madhya Pradesh farmers where he appealed to farmers with folded hands. His appeal was to not believe in the rumours allegedly spread by the opposition parties. However, if the farmers have concerns, the government is ready to address all, PM Modi said, as farmers are the top priority.
BJP ministers addressing farm issues
On Friday, several BJP ministers addressed the issue of the ongoing farmers’ protest, training their guns on the opposition. “The opposition says that the one who made the bills isn’t a farmer. The one who talks of producing 40-inch potato is he a farmer? Is Sonia Gandhi a farmer? The one who actually did something for farmers is PM Narendra Modi,” Smriti Irani said in Meerut. “Failed political players who have been rejected repeatedly by the people are acting under their depression of defeat and misleading the farmers,” Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
Meanwhile, the mortal remains of Sikh preacher Sant Ram Singh, who was supporting the protest against the farm laws and allegedly committed suicide near the Singhu border unable to bear the “pain of farmers”, were consigned to flames in Karnal on Friday.