Why wait till December 3, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said urging the Central government to immediately initiate talks with farmers to defuse the tense situation at the Delhi border.
“The central government needs to show statesmanship and accept the farmers’ demand for assured MSP (minimum support price), which is the basic right of every farmer. If they can give verbal assurance, I fail to understand why they can’t make it a legal obligation of the Government of India,” the Congress leader questioned a day after being accused of instigating farmers to continue their “Delhi Chalo” protest.
Mr Singh’s remark comes within days of the central government saying it has invited farmer unions from Punjab for the second round of ministerial talks on December 3 – a pre-condition for calling off the two-month-long ‘rail roko’ agitation in Punjab on Monday.
“Those claiming it’s the Congress that’s instigating the farmers are blind not to see the lakhs of farmers trying to enter Delhi from across the country. It’s a fight for their lives and livelihoods and they don’t need any backing or provocation,” he added.
Thousands of farmers, chiefly from Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Kerala, have been marching towards Delhi to protest against the recently enacted three agricultural laws.
The centre says the laws are directed at reforming the farming sector, but farmers fear they would leave them vulnerable to exploitation by multi-national companies in the open market.
They have sought legal assurance that the government procurement system at assured prices would continue.