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Centre's Proposal to Suspend Farm Laws Still Stands, PM Modi Tells All-party Meeting

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Citing Modi's address at the virtual meeting, sources said he told leaders that Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar was just a phone call away for the protesting farmers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday told leaders of various political parties that his government has been continuously trying to resolve the issues raised by protesting farmers through talks, sources said. Addressing floor leaders of various political parties at the customary all-party meeting convened by the government for the smooth conduct of the Budget Session, Modi said the Centre's proposal on the three new agriculture laws still stands, the sources added.

Modi said the government still stands by the proposal given to the protesting farmers of suspending the three contentious farm laws for 18 months.

The Prime Minister assured that the government is approaching the farmers' issue with an open mind.

Citing Modi's address at the virtual meeting, the sources said he told the leaders that Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar was just a phone call away for protesting farmers and the latter had conveyed the same to farmer leaders earlier this month.

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Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi said, "During the all-party meet, PM Narendra Modi assured that the government of India is approaching the farmers issue with an open mind. PM said the GoI’s stand is same as it was on January 22nd - proposal by Agriculture Minister still stands. He reiterated what Tomar said - that he is a phone call away for talks."

Modi said the "law will take its own course", said Joshi, referring to "the unfortunate incident on January 26". On Republic Day, clashes took place at several spots in Delhi between the police and farmers. Groups of protesting farmers entered Red Fort, where a few even climbed atop the historic monument to unfurl a Sikh religious flag. They were later removed by the police. Hundreds of police personnel as well as protesters were injured in the violence.

The all-party meeting was convened for the government to put forth its legislative agenda before political parties.

At Friday's meeting, various leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad of Congress, Sudip Bandyopadhyay of Trinamool Congress, Balwinder Singh Bhunder of Shiromani Akali Dal and Vinayak Raut of Shiv Sena raised the issue of protesting farmers, sources said.

first published:January 30, 2021, 15:12 IST
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