Hold talks with Modi, otherwise it's a futile exercise, Harsimrat and Jakhar tell farmers

Former Union minister and Punjab Congress chief say talks that don’t involve Narendra Modi or Amit Shah are useless

Hold talks with Modi, otherwise it's a futile exercise, Harsimrat and Jakhar tell farmers

Farmers at the Singhu border. Tribune file

Chandigarh, December 30

The Shiromani Akali Dal and the Congress on Wednesday appealed to farmers protesting against the Centre's farm laws to hold direct talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, otherwise the dialogue would not yield any results.

Commenting on farmer leaders' meeting with the Centre over the laws on Wednesday, former Union minister and Akali Dal's Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal said they shouldn't fall into the “trap” of extended meetings, “which yield nothing”.

Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar also favoured direct talks with the PM, saying the involvement of the Prime Minister or Union Home Minister is a must for a successful dialogue.

“Our farmers are on the cusp of victory. I appeal to them to hold direct talks with the PM to get these agri laws repealed," Badal said in a tweet. “They shouldn't fall into trap of extended meetings which yield nothing,” the Bathinda MP added. 

Badal, whose party had quit the BJP-led NDA due to differences over the issue earlier this year, said had the Centre listened to her warnings about repercussions of the laws, things could not have come to such a pass. People's will is supreme in a democracy, she said in another tweet tagged to Narendra Modi's Twitter handle.

She urged the PM not to prolong the suffering of thousands of farmers sitting at Delhi borders against the laws.

Meanwhile, Jakhar said for talks to be successful, involvement of Modi or Amit Shah is a must.

“After Amit Shah's intervention failing to resolve the issue, next level of talks should have been with PM. Strangely these have been downgraded to previous levels. For talks to be successful, involvement of PM or HM is a must. Otherwise it's a futile exercise,” Jakhar tweeted. 

Thousands of farmers have been protesting against the Centre's farm laws at Delhi borders for over a month now.

Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the Union government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middleman and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of the minimum support price (MSP) and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

The government has repeatedly asserted that the MSP and mandi system will stay and has accused the Opposition of misleading the farmers. PTI

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