Centre must accept farmers’ demands in next round of talks: Bhupinder Hooda

ROHTAK: Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Thursday said the government must accept the agitating farmers‘ demands in the next round of talks.
He said the farmers have already spent almost two months on roads while protesting against the farm laws.
The leader of opposition in the state assembly also said the farmers have made it clear to the government that they would not settle for anything less than a withdrawal of the farm laws.
“But the government is pretending as if it is unaware of the farmers’ demands when the entire country knows from day one that they have been demanding the withdrawal of the three agricultural laws and a law that guarantees MSP,” he said in a statement.
“Despite this, the government has been going round and round the same issue. Sometimes it talks of amending the laws, sometimes suggests forming a committee and sometimes postponing the laws,” said Hooda.
“It seems the government does not want to end the movement. The demands of the farmers should be accepted by the government in the next round of talks to be held tomorrow,” Hooda stated.
Over 100 farmers have died during their ongoing agitation, he said referring to several deaths of farmers, protesting under the open sky in cold weather for several weeks. Some of the farmers have also committed suicide.
On Thursday, Hooda also offered condolences to the family of a farmer Jai Bhagwan, 42, after visiting his home in Pakasma village here.
The farmer had allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous tablets at the farmers’ protest site at Delhi’s Tikri border on Tuesday, police had said.
“The families of the martyred farmers should not feel alone. We are all with them in this hour of grief,” he said later.
Hooda has demanded from the government to give martyr status to farmers who have lost their lives during the anti-farm laws agitation and financial assistance to their families besides a government job to one of the family members.
The senior Congress leader claimed the government is constantly testing the farmers’ patience.
“This neglect of the government is proving fatal for them as a large number of farmers have lost their lives due to heart attack, cold and accidents,” he said.
“Many farmers have committed suicide due to despair. Around 150 farmers have lost their lives during the agitation for different reasons,” said.
“Despite this, the government is not ready to bow down to the will of the people. Instead of accepting farmers’ demands, the government is using every trick to end the movement,” he alleged.
“The government must find a solution in tomorrow’s meeting,” he demanded.
The Centre had on Wednesday proposed to suspend the three contentious farm laws for up to one and half years and set up a joint committee to find an amicable solution in the interest of the farming community.
During their tenth round of negotiations with three central ministers, the two sides decided to meet again on Friday after the union leaders hold their internal consultations on Thursday to decide on the government’s new proposal.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at several Delhi border points against the Centre’s new agriculture laws for nearly two months.

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