New Delhi: Amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Saturday appealed to the farmers protesting on the borders of Delhi to stop the long-running agitation. Let’s say, whenever the government is ready for discussion they come up with a concrete proposal.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting against the three new agri-marketing laws for almost five months. There has been no headway in the logjam on this issue since January 22, when the 11th and final round of formal talks between the central government and the protesting peasant unions took place.
Tomar expressed concern about the health of farmers and India, as India saw a record surge of more than 1.45 lakh coronavirus cases on Saturday. ‘Now in the second wave of the epidemic, the entire country and the world are following the COVID-19 protocol. Protesting farmers should also follow the protocol. Tomar said that his life is important to us.
“In the current COVID-19 situation, I urge them (agitating farmers) to express their opposition. Whenever they come up with a proposal, the government is ready for discussion.
There is no ‘dissatisfaction’ among the farming community across the country over the new agricultural laws, stating that in fact many agricultural bodies are in favor of these legislations, while some are opposing them.
He said, “Ours is a democratic country, whether it is farmers or citizens, if they have any doubt, the government believes that it is their responsibility to remove the doubt and solve it.”
The minister said that the three laws were not enforced suddenly, but there was a long discussion in the past and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken it forward.
He said that generally any protest continues if the government is not ready for talks. He said that this government openly held 11 rounds of discussion with the representatives of the opposition of the farm laborers, yet their movement did not stop, he said.
In these meetings, the government identified their concerns and proposed to suspend the laws for 1.5 years and constitute a committee to investigate them.
‘We proposed that a committee be formed to look into these laws and also the MSP (issue). The committee will discuss the government after submitting its report. The proposal was welcomed all over the country, but the protesting farmers rejected it, citing no reason. ‘
He said that the farmers may have resumed their protest that they found the recommendations of the proposed committee unsatisfactory.
The minister said, “We had told the farm unions with our proposal and we were ready to discuss that also.”
Tomar reiterated that he had appealed to the farmers’ unions in all the 11 rounds of meetings to send back senior citizens and children from the protest sites in the wake of the epidemic.
The minister also said that agitating farmers should understand that ordinary citizens are facing hardship due to their opposition at the border.
India reported a record 1,45,384 fresh cases on Saturday, taking the tally to 1,32,05,926.
The number of active cases also recaptured the 1 million mark after nearly six and a half months, while the death toll due to viral disease has risen to 1,68,436 with 794 more fatalities, the highest since October 18 last year. .
Meanwhile, 7,897 cases and 39 new deaths occurred in Delhi on Saturday.