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Unions harden their stand after surge of support from farmers in western UP | India News

NEW DELHI: Emboldened by the massive support which they get from ‘panchayats’ across western Uttar Pradesh, the farmers’ unions on Sunday appeared to have hardened their stand while reiterating that they are ready for talks if the government offers more than what it had proposed on January 22.
Insisting for seeking repeal of laws and legal guarantee to purchase at minimum support price (MSP) for all farmers, they said they have not yet received any communication from the government side for talks which can, however, happen only in a congenial atmosphere at a time when more than 100 farmers are still reported to be missing after tractor rally and police action on Republic Day.
The unions’ umbrella body, Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), has, meanwhile, formed a committee to look into the issue of missing persons. “It is now seeking to compile information on such missing persons following which formal action can be initiated with the authorities,” said farmer leader Darshan Pal in a statement.
On the prospect of talks, Yogendra Yadav of Jai Kisan Andolan while referring to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on talks option said, “If the government would take two steps forward (from what it had offered on January 22), farmers will not move backward. We don’t have any ego. We are ready for talks. We want farmers to get what they want and they want repeal of three farm laws and legal guarantees to MSP.”
Appealing farmers to strengthen the ongoing movement, Yadav, in his video message from Shahjanapur border, said, “Pura Khel ab palat gaya hai. Ab palra kisan ka bhari hai. (The situation has completely turned and farmers are now on front foot)… The more you strengthen the movement the faster would be the talks and better the results.”
Modi while addressing all-party meeting on Saturday said that the government’s proposals to farmers’ unions still stand and agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar is just a phone call away for taking forward the talks. He referred to the agriculture ministry’s proposals of putting implementation of farm laws on hold for 18 month and setting up a joint committee to make progress through discussion on all demands of farmers during the period.
The ministry had made this proposal during the tenth round of talks on January 20 and thereafter stuck to it in the next round of talks on January 22 while asking unions to come for talks only after accepting this offer. The unions, however, rejected this offer, leading to the current stalemate.
Noting the PM’s remarks, the SKM on Saturday said, “Farmers have come all the way to the doorsteps of Delhi to converse with their elected government and therefore, there is no question of the farmer organisations closing the door on talks with the government. They continue to seek a full repeal of the three farm laws and a legal entitlement guaranteeing MSP for all farmers.”

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