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Samyukta Kisan Morcha Writes to PM Modi to Resume Talks Over Farm Laws

Members of various farmer organisations block a railway track during a four-hour 'rail roko' demonstration across the country, called by Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), as part of their agitation against Centre's farm reform laws, in Amritsar district, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Members of various farmer organisations block a railway track during a four-hour 'rail roko' demonstration across the country, called by Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), as part of their agitation against Centre's farm reform laws, in Amritsar district, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Several rounds of talks between farmers and the government have failed to break the deadlock over the three Central legislations.

New Delhi: The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of over 40 protesting farmer unions, Friday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging resumption of talks over the three farm laws they have been agitating against at Delhi borders since November last year. Several rounds of talks between farmers and the government have failed to break the deadlock over the three Central legislations. The farmers' body said in a statement on Friday it has again asked the government to reinitiate a dialogue with the protesting farmers.

A government panel had met farmer leaders on January 22. There has been no talks between the two sides since January 26 when the farmers' tractor rally in the national capital turned violent. "Today, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha has written a letter to the Prime Minister, asking for the resumption of talks with farmers. This letter touches upon several aspects of the farmers' movement, and the ignorant attitude of the government," the SKM said in the statement.

It said that while the protesting farmers do not wish to expose anyone to the health hazards of the pandemic, it "cannot also give up on the struggle, as it is a matter of life and death, and also of future generations". "Any democratic government would have repealed the three laws that have been rejected by the farmers in whose name these were enacted, and seized the opportunity to provide legal guarantee of MSP to all farmers…..as the Head of the government of the largest democracy in the world, the onus of resuming a serious and sincere dialogue with the farmers lies with you," the letter reads. The farmers' body had recently announced to observe May 26 as 'black day' to mark six months of their protest at Delhi borders.

Farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal had appealed to people to raise black flags at their houses, vehicles and shops on May 26 to protest against the contentious farm legislations. Hundreds of farmers have been camping at Delhi's borders since November 2020 demanding that the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 be rolled back and a new law made to guarantee minimum support price for crops.

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However, the government has maintained the laws are pro-farmer.

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first published:May 21, 2021, 20:16 IST