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Farmers protest: Center mulling an amendment to farm laws

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The Centre may consider amending the farm laws which is being opposed by farmers, media reports said after a meeting of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s.

The development comes hours before the fifth round of talks between the government and protesters over the contentious farm laws.

So far two rounds of talks between the farmers and the government have failed to yield results despite repeated assurances from the center on the minimum support price or MSP. 

Talks between farmers and the government will begin at 2 pm at Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan. 

Junior Agriculture Minister Kailash Choudhary said farmers’ doubts will be cleared in today’s meeting with the center. He accused the opposition of instigating the farmers.

Home Minster Amit Shah has met Rajnath Singh, and Piyush Goyal apart from Tomar several times this week over the issue, media reports said. 

Earlier during the talk on Thursday farmers’ representatives made a 39-point presentation on the inadequacies of the laws. They have demanded written assurance on the MSP and said piecemeal changes will not do.  

Farmers have called a strike

The farmers have also called a nationwide shutdown on Tuesday (December 8) with farmers’ unions threatening to block all roads to the national capital. They have also said they’ll occupy all highway toll gates across the country.

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The government has reiterated that the new laws give the farmers an option to sell to private buyers. A petition filed in the Supreme Court on Friday sought immediate removal or shifting of the protesting farmers. 

“Life of lakhs of people protesting at Delhi Borders is at immediate threat. If by chance this coronavirus disease takes the shape of community spread, it will cause havoc in the country,” said the petition.

The farmers who faced barricades, water cannons, and tear gas during their march to Delhi have cut off major entrances to Delhi. 

Traffic on key roads connecting Delhi to Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have been blocked.

Wide-spread support for farmers

The farmers have found support from several Bollywood actors, sports personalities, political leaders, and transport unions.

Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal became the first to return his award in protest against the treatment of the protesting farmers by the Centre. 

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have also supported the farmers’ cause.

 

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