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Centre writes to farmers, prepared to discuss ‘all issues’

The centre, on Thursday, wrote back to all the 40 farm unions that they were prepared to discuss all issues raised by them. The government shall discuss these issues in addition to those dealt in the previous rounds of discussion. They further stated that combining the MSP (Minimum Selling Price) issue with the farm laws for discussion appeared illogical. The farm bills had no effect on the support price process used in our country. Nevertheless, the centre would like to discuss the remaining issues with the farm unions.

Bhartiya Kisan Union (Lok Shakti) chief Sheoraj Singh wrote a letter to the centre on Wednesday. The letter demanded the government to repeal all three agricultural laws. In response to this, the centre wrote a letter on Thursday stating that it was prepared to discuss all issues. It also comprised of other amendments raised by the farmers.

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The letter stated that the government is ready to hold discussions when the unions take a call. However, the farmers must also send a list of details to cover during these discussion, urged the centre.

Ministry sent a third letter on December 24, 2020 after sending two on December 9 and 20, respectively. In the December 20 response, the centre only asked for a date to hold a meeting with the farmers. There was nothing mentioned beyond the proposed changes in the bills. Hence, the December 24 response is a clear step forward.

Farm leaders still firmly believe that the centre must suspend those laws to show their seriousness about the talks. However, it is likely that the stance of farm unions may change today after PM Modi addresses the farmers from six states.

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Ministry officials firmly believe that the new demand about MSP is an attempt by a few farmers’ unions to make the current protests a pan-India issue. The support-price matter concerns the entire country whereas the ongoing farm protests restrict themselves to states like Haryana, Punjab and western Uttar Pradesh.

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