As Farmers March To Delhi, Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda’s “Peace Appeal”

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As Farmers March To Delhi, Agriculture Minister's 'Peace Appeal'

The farmers will continue their ‘Dilli Chalo’ march on February 21.

New Delhi:

Amidst the ongoing farmers’ protest in Delhi, Union Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda on Tuesday appealed to the farmers and the farmers’ organisations that are connected with the protest to maintain peace.

“I would appeal to the farmers and the farmers organisations which are connected with this (protest) to maintain peace. We have to take it forward from discussion to solutions. We must keep discussing this issue. We all want peace, and we should together find a solution to this issue,” he said.

“We tried to discuss the government’s side and several proposals were also discussed. We have come to know that they (farmers) are not satisfied with the proposals but this discussion should continue and we must find a solution peacefully,” the Union Minister added.

Referring to the rejection of the government’s proposal over MSP by the farmers, Mr Munda said that they welcome good opinions.

“We want to do good and several opinions can be given for doing so, as we always welcome good opinions. But to find a way on how that opinion will be fruitful, the only way is conversation. Through conversation, a solution will surely come out,” he said.

After the Centre brought a proposal to purchase crops at Minimum Support Price (MSP), farmers rejected the proposal on Monday evening, saying that it had nothing for them.

Meanwhile, ahead of the farmers’ ‘Delhi Chalo’ march scheduled on February 21, farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher targeted the Centre, saying that the government is stopping the farmers from entering Delhi and farmers should be allowed to hold their march on Wednesday.

“The intention of the govt was very clear that they would not let us enter Delhi at any cost…If you don’t want to find a solution through discussion with farmers then we should be allowed to march towards Delhi…When we moved towards Delhi, shelling happened…Bullets were also used on the tyres of the tractors…DGP Haryana has said that they are not using tear gas on farmers…We demand punishment for those using it then…Wrong statements are also being given…The situation in Haryana is like that of Kashmir. We will march towards Delhi on Feb 21. The govt has given us a proposal so that we backtrack from our original demands. The govt will be responsible for whatever happens now,” said farmer leader Sarwan Singh.

Addressing a press conference, farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal said that after the discussion, the forums rejected the proposal over MSP.

“After the discussion of both forums, it has been decided that if you analyse, there is nothing in the government’s proposal. Our government imports palm oil worth Rs 1.75 crore from outside which also causes illness to the general public. If this money is given to the farmers of the country to grow oil seed crops and MSP is announced, then that money can be used here. This is not in the favour of farmers. We reject it,” he said.

“If the government is not giving a legal guarantee of MSP, it means that the farmers of the country will continue to be looted. This is not acceptable,” he added.

After the fourth round of talks, General Secretary of Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee Sarvan Singh Pandher asserted that the farmers will continue to move forward with the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march on February 21 adding that the discussion will also be held on the proposal proposed by the government on MSP.

Now, the farmers will continue their ‘Dilli Chalo’ march on February 21.

The agitating farmers from Punjab have raised various demands including an ordinance on ensuring legal guarantees for MSPs and loan waivers.

The two sides — ministers and farmer leaders — had met earlier on February 8, 12 and 15 but talks remained inconclusive.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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