'If Govt is stubborn, so are we': Bharatiya Kisan Union Leader as farm groups get draft proposals from Govt
New Delhi, Dec 09: As the Centre on Wednesday sent a new proposal including the assurance of minimum support price, change in the APMC act, tax on private players, the protesting farmers said if the government is stubborn to not withdraw the laws, then the farmers are stubborn too to carry on with their protests.
''We'll strategise in our meeting & discuss their (Centre) proposal. Farmers won't go back, it's a matter of their respect. Will Govt not withdraw laws? Will there be tyranny? If Govt is stubborn, so are farmers. Law has to be withdrawn,'' said Rakesh Tikait, spokesperson, Bharatiya Kisan Union.
The farmers protests against have entered the 14th day on Wednesday as all the attempts to come to an understanding so far have failed.
The farmers now demand a complete withdrawal of the laws while the Centre has made it clear that there will be amendments to the provisions to which the farmers have objection but the laws will not be repealed.
Meanwhile, the Centre has sent a draft proposal to farmers.
The draft proposal has been sent to 13 farm union leaders including Joginder Singh Urgrahan of BKU (Ekta Ugrahan), one of the biggest among nearly 40 agitating unions.
"Farmer unions have received the draft proposal from the government," Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said. He is one of the many union leaders participating in the ongoing negotiations with the government.
Home Minister Amit Shah in Tuesday night's meeting with 13 union leaders had said the government would send a draft proposal on key issues raised by the farmers regarding the three farm laws, even though the meeting had failed to break the ice with farm union leaders who are insisting for repealing these laws.
The sixth round of talks between the government and farm union leaders, which was scheduled for Wednesday morning, has also been canceled. The draft proposal has been sent by Vivek Aggarwal, Joint Secretary in Agriculture Ministry.
No breakthrough has been possible in the five rounds of talks so far as the protesting farmers have stuck to their demand for the repeal of the laws despite the government''s assurance to look into specific issues without abolishing the legislations.
In the previous meeting on December 5, Agriculture Minister Narender Singh Tomar had assured 40 farmer union leaders that the government is open to considering ways to strengthen APMC mandis, create a level-playing field with proposed private markets, and provide a provision for approaching higher courts for dispute resolution, while asserting that procurement at minimum support price (MSP) will continue.
But the protesting farmer unions'' leaders are insisting that the laws must be scrapped.
On December 7, a group of 20 progressive farmers from Haryana submitted to the government a memorandum demanding that the government consider amendments as suggested by the protesting farmers unions but not repeal them.
Tomar had told these progressive farmers backing these legislations that these measures will benefit the peasantry and the agriculture sector and that the government will handle such agitations.