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Centre Invites Punjab Farmers Bodies for Talks with Agriculture and Railway Minister on Nov 13

Members of various farmers' organisations block a railway track during a protest over farm bills, in Rupnagar district of Punjab, Friday. (Image: PTI)

Members of various farmers' organisations block a railway track during a protest over farm bills, in Rupnagar district of Punjab, Friday. (Image: PTI)

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal will speak to the Punjab farmers on November 13 in Delhi.

The Centre has invited Punjab farmer bodies protesting against its farm laws for talks on November 13 in Delhi. An invite from the Secretary, Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, has been sent to farmers' organisations for talks with Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) president Balbir Singh Rajewal said farmers' organisations have received an invitation. A farmer leader said they have called a meeting of representatives of unions on November 12 to discuss the strategy.

Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma has welcomed the decision of the Centre. Last month, representatives of several farmers' organisations from Punjab had walked out of a meeting called by the Union Agriculture Ministry over the new farm laws and had accused the government of adopting "double standards" with no minister present to hear them out. Farmers in Punjab have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave a way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporates. They have been demanding that these new laws be repealed. Farmers had resorted to a "rail roko" agitation and staged sit-ins outside some shopping malls, toll plazas and outside residences of BJP leaders.

The train services in Punjab have been suspended since September 24, when farmers started their "rail roko" agitation against the central laws. While farmers have lifted their dharnas from rail tracks for the resumption of freight trains, the Centre wants movement of passenger trains as well with complete security.


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