Centre sends fresh invite to farmer unions

Centre's fresh invite to protesters as it meets farmers supporting new laws

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to address farmers on Friday

Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. Credit: PTI Photo

A day after agitating farmers rejected the government's offer for talks, the Centre wrote another letter urging them to set a fresh date for talks even as Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar received farmer delegations who expressed support for the farm laws.

The letter from Vivek Agarwal, Joint Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry, said it was the responsibility of the government to ensure all voices were heard as the protests by farmers unions, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, on Delhi borders were set to complete a month on Friday.

“The government has, respectfully and with open mind, held several rounds of talks and has also proposed to hold the next round of talks at your convenience,” Agarwal said in the letter addressed to 40 leaders of farmer unions.

As the government kept the door of talks with the agitating farmers open, members of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangh, Baghpat and Kisan Sena called on the Agriculture Minister, expressing support for the Centre’s farm reforms.

Activists of the Kisan Sena also took out a rally in support of the farm sector laws and blocked the Delhi-Noida highway as they were enroute to meet the minister.

“Representatives of farmers organisations met me and expressed support for the farm laws. They said the farm laws have fulfilled their long-standing demands and that the government should on buckle under any pressure on these laws,” Tomar told reporters after meeting the farmer’s representatives.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to address farmers on Friday and transfer an installment of Rs 2,000 under the income support scheme to over nine crore farmers.

BJP is trying hard to reach out to a maximum number of farmers with ministers and senior leaders fanning out across the country to be amongst farmers when the Prime Minister makes his speech.

Home Minister Amit Shah is expected to be present at a gaushala temple in Kishangarh village in Mehrauli in south-west Delhi to hear the Prime Minister’s virtual address to farmers.