Watch: Farmers walk out of Centre’s meeting over absence of minister
Farmers' organizations from Punjab on Wednesday boycotted a meeting called by the Union agriculture ministry to resolve their concerns over new farm laws and accused the government of playing double standards with no minister present to hear them out.
Representatives from 29 farmers' organizations, including Joginder Singh-led Bharati Kissan Union, were miffed at the absence of Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Minister of State for Agriculture in the meeting.
The meeting was convened at the Krishi Bhavan amid police security to avoid any protest.
After the meeting, agitated farmers' representatives were seen shouting slogans and tearing copies of new farm laws outside Krishi Bhavan.
More than 30 representatives, who had come in a bus, were mostly senior citizens but had not even worn face masks despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Delhi's Environment Minister Gopal Rai on November 24 said that stubble burning in Haryana and Punjab over last 15 days played a major role in poisoning Delhi's air. "Stubble burning in Haryana and Punjab over last 15 days played a major role in poisoning Delhi's air and NASA images has confirmed this. Pusa Institute's experiment of spraying bio-decomposer on stubble has been very successful," said Environment Minister Rai.
Farmers in Punjab's Amritsar continued their protest against the new farm laws, saying that they will not allow the passenger trains to run, even as Western Railway (WR) announced to restore the services of 11 trains, which were either cancelled, short-terminated or short-originated, on Monday. The Western Railway (WR) on Monday said it restored 11 trains, which were either cancelled, short-terminated or short-originated, due to the farmers' agitation in Punjab. On Monday night, the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee members blocked railway tracks in Amritsar's Jandiala Guru to protest against the recently enacted farm laws. The developments come even as Indian Railways is preparing to resume passenger train services in Punjab while following COVID-19 protocols from Wednesday. The Indian Railways on Sunday decided to restore train services in Punjab, starting with the trial run of freight trains on Monday to observe safety and security on the tracks. Punjab farmers are observing 'rail-roko' protest against three agriculture laws.
The Union government continued its attempts to try and convince farmers that 3 recently passed agriculture reform laws are in their interest. Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met farmers as protests against the legislation continued. Representatives of NITI Aayog, NAFED, Ayurvet, and National Seed Association were reportedly present at the meeting. Meanwhile, demonstrations like 'rail roko' by farmers continued, especially in Punjab. Farmers fear that the new laws are a precursor to the scrapping of the minimum support price (MSP) regime. The government has denied any such intentions, claiming that the reforms aim to liberate farmers from the grip of middlemen and mandis. Watch the full video for more.
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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar met farm leaders and experts on October 13. Organisations like NITI Aayog, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), Ayurvet Research Foundation, and National Seed Association of India were present in the meeting. While speaking to ANI, National Seed Association of India, president, M Prabhakar Rao said, "The three farm laws introduced by the Centre will boost the development of seed industry. It will benefit lakhs of farmers involved in the seed industry, they are happy with the decision."
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