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'Vague and destructive': Farmer leaders on government proposals

Vague and destructive: Farmer leaders on government proposals
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New Delhi: Moments after the Central government sent their draft proposal to amend the three new farm laws at the centre of the mass agitations across the country, farmer unions rejected the proposal, calling it "vague and destructive."

They said that the proposal had nothing new while a few pointers that the farmers had mentioned were also removed from the draft.

Speaking to Millennium Post, Shankar Darekar, a farmer leader from Maharashtra Kisan Union said that the 40-page letter sent to the farmer leaders were PowerPoint presentations shown to them in the first meeting.

"We are not able to understand why is the government playing such games with the farmers. There was no mention of the MSP demand that we had given. There was also no mention of contract farming. Many pointers that we had mentioned were not there in the proposal. This is the reason we thought of rejecting the proposal and making the protest bigger."

The farmer leaders have averred that their basic demand which is to repeal the three ordinances is firm and they were never in favour of listening to the government talks about making amendments to the laws.

Dr Ashok Dhawde, Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha state president, added that bringing in the new amendments were never a part of their discussions with the government. "They are just bringing amendments in the law. This is what they have been doing the whole time. Our only demand is to repeal the three ordinances. Instead of doing that, they are putting in small amendments and this is what they put in the proposal as well, which we do not accept. They are not ready to take back any law.

They have sent us a written proposal which only means they are not listening to our demands."

Meanwhile, the general secretary of All India Kisan Coordination Committee, Satnam Singh, said that there is nothing concrete in the law. "My father played an instrumental role in the formation of the Essential Commodities Act of 1955 so that looting, hoarding of goods would stop and prices could stay in check. This government totally repealed that. Now with these new laws, one can hoard essential commodities as much as they want. When will the government intervene? When the price doubles. Suppose sugar sells for Rs 32 per kilo, the government shall intervene when the price will

reach Rs 64. There is massive looting going on in the country," he said.

Singh added that they have explained the laws at the root level. "People understand how bad these laws are for their future. They want to snatch Mandis from us. What will farmers do without Mandis? Meanwhile, contract farming is a failed concept," he added.

Furthermore, Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said that the whole point is about repealing the laws. "We don't want any sort of manipulation in the demands put forward by us," he told Millennium Post.

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