18 Feb 2024

Farmers Protest: Fourth Round of Talks Between Union Ministers and Peasants Scheduled for Today; Will Impasse End?

A group of Union ministers is set to engage in the fourth round of discussions with farmer leaders in Chandigarh on Sunday, addressing key issues such as loan waivers and the enactment of an ordinance to legally guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

Against the backdrop of thousands of farmers maintaining their presence at the Shambhu and Khanauri points on the Punjab-Haryana border, negotiations continue amid heightened security measures and barricades preventing their march towards the national capital.

Previous meetings between the ministers and farmer leaders on February 8, 12, and 15 yielded no conclusive results.

No clashes reported on Saturday

No clashes were reported between protesters and Haryana security personnel on Saturday, as farmer leaders urged demonstrators to remain peaceful at the borders.

Delhi's borders with Haryana have seen additional layers of barricades and increased security personnel presence in response to the ongoing protests.

Meeting at 6 pm on Sunday

Representatives from the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha will meet Union Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Minister Arjun Munda, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, and Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai in Chandigarh at 6 pm on Sunday.

Expressing anticipation, farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher stated that the nation looks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for addressing farmers' concerns, hoping for positive outcomes after Sunday's meeting.

Bring an ordinance enacting a law on MSP: Farmer leader

Pandher emphasized the government's role. He said if the government desires a resolution to the farmers' protest, it should promptly bring an ordinance enacting a law on MSP.

Jagjit Singh Dallewal, leading the 'Delhi Chalo' march, echoed the sentiment, urging the government to bring an ordinance to address the concerns of the people.

The Haryana government extended the ban on mobile internet and bulk SMS services in seven districts by two more days until February 19.

Tractor march organized in Haryana

On Saturday, the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Charuni) organized a tractor march in Haryana, while BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) held dharnas outside residences of three senior BJP leaders in solidarity with the protesting farmers.

Punjab BJP chief Sunil Jakhar expressed confidence that ongoing talks between farmers and the Centre would result in effective resolution, stating that the Modi government is fully aware of farmers' issues.

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