In the latest letter, the Morcha pointed out that in its December 26 communication to the government, it had mentioned “changes” by mistake instead of “withdrawal” in the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020.
Farmer unions also deferred to Thursday their proposed tractor march against the contentious agriculture laws, so that the rally does not clash with their talks with the government.
Thousands of protesting farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping at three Delhi border points — Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri — for the past 31 days, demanding a repeal of the three farm laws and legal guarantee for MSP.
The Congress demanded legal sanctity to the demands of farmers including that on ensuring the MSP.
Addressing a joint press conference, Congress leaders Rajeev Shukla and Govind Dotasra said the government must immediately repeal the three farm laws and bring fresh ones after incorporating the demands of farmers and then get them passed by Parliament.
Shukla also said it was wrong on the part of the government to dub the farmers agitation as political as it is an attempt to defame farmers.
NCP supremo and former agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, meanwhile, accused the Centre of bulldozing the farm laws without consulting states and asserted that agriculture cannot be run “sitting in Delhi” as it involves farmers toiling in distant villages.
Pawar also raised questions about the composition of the three-member ministerial group negotiating with the unions, saying the ruling party should have put forward leaders with “in-depth” understanding of agriculture and farmers’ issues.
In an interview with PTI, the former union minister said the government needs to take the protests seriously and it was “unfair” on the part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to blame opposition parties for the agitation by farmers.
He said the opposition parties will take a call on their future course of action on Wednesday if the government fails to resolve the impasse.
The three farm laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of the MSP and do away with the “mandi” (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.
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