NEW DELHI: Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Friday said that the Centre must scrap the three contentious farms laws and give a legal guarantee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and its continuation in future.
“Government needs to devise a plan to scrap the three laws and give a legal guarantee for the MSP,” BKU Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said. His remarks came minutes ahead of the commencement of the 9th round of talks between the Centre and the protesting farmers at the Vigyan Bhawan.
Three Union Ministers, including Union Minister Narendra Tomar, Piyush Goyal, and the representatives of farmer groups earlier reached the Vigyan Bhawan to hold ninth rounds of talks to resolve all issues concerning the new farm laws.
Ahead of the talks, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the Centre is looking forward to positive discussions with the farmers. Tomar said the government is ready to hold discussions with farmer unions leaders with an open mind.
Today’s talks come a day after Bhartiya Kisan Union national president Bhupinder Singh Mann recused himself from the four-member committee appointed by the Supreme Court to resolve the deadlock between farmers and the Centre over the new agri-marketing laws.
The 4-member committee was asked to submit its report to the Supreme Court within two months of its first sitting, which is to take place within 10 days. Meanwhile, Bharatiya Kisan Union has sought support from the members of the committee appointed by the Supreme Court to resolve farm laws deadlock.
A BKU leader said that the panel members should follow the suit of Bhupinder Singh Mann and not be on the “wrong side of history”. Mann, the national president of Bharatiya Kisan Union, on Thursday expressed gratitude over his nomination into the four-member committee but recused himself saying he would give up any position to prevent farmers’ interests from being compromised.
“Mann’s decision is a welcome move. The other three members of the panel, who have shown pro-new farm laws stance should also follow Mann’s suit. This ongoing agitation for rollback of the three agri laws is history in the making, and we urge they should not be on the wrong side of history,” Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lok Shakti) spokesperson Shailesh Kumar Giri said.
Apart from Mann, Shetkari Sanghatana (Maharashtra) president Anil Ghanwat, International Food Policy Research Institute’s Pramod Kumar Joshi and agriculture economist Ashok Gulati were appointed on the panel.
So far, eight rounds of talks have been held between the protesting farmers and government over their demand for the repeal of new farm laws. The Supreme Court had on Tuesday stayed the implementation of three farms laws until further orders and formed a four-member committee.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers` Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.