Farmers Protests: Centre plans to hold early talks with protesting farmers


New Delhi: The Centre plans to hold early dialogue with protesting farmers, with Union home minister Amit Shah holding a second round of discussion with agriculture minister NS Tomar and other BJP leaders on the issue on Monday. On Sunday, farmers had demanded an unconditional meeting with the government in connection with the three agricultural laws passed by the Centre. A formal announcement for the discussion is yet to be made, sources added.

After his return from Hyderabad, Shah held a series of discussions, first with defence minister Rajnath Singh, agriculture minister NS Tomar and BJP president JP Nadda at the latter’s residence late Sunday night. On Monday, Shah held another round of deliberations, following which it was decided to convey the government’s willingness for early talks.

The development comes a day after farmers rejected the Centre’s offer for talks if they shifted to northeast Delhi’s Burari ground and ended their protest. In the past five days, the farmers as well as the Centre have been holding a series of meetings to decide the future course of action. But farmers have not come forward for talks on the issue so far.

The fourth round of talks between farmers groups and a high-level ministerial panel was scheduled to be held on December 3. After Shah’s assurances, it is learnt that some farmers’ groups were in touch with senior BJP politicians and have expressed their willingness to hold a dialogue if the central government is ready for unconditional talks.

The government may announce setting up an inter-ministerial committee to address the grievances of farmers after another round of discussions. An information and education programme is expected to be rolled out to allay fear among them, officials added.

Meanwhile, security along the Delhi borders have been beefed up as officials estimate that the number of protesting farmers is likely to swell. Around 12 companies of paramilitary forces along with the local police are posted at the five borders adjoining Delhi-NCR.





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