Thursday, May 30, 2024

I don’t think Anna would join; We have done nothing against farmers: Gadkari

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said that he does not feel that social activist Anna Hazare would join the farmer protest as the government has not done anything against the farmers by bringing the three farm laws.

“I don’t think Anna Hazare Ji will join. We have not done anything against the farmers. It is the right of farmers to sell their produce in mandi, to traders or anywhere else,” Gadkari told a news agency.

The statement from the union minister came after the social activist on Monday warned the government of resuming his hunger strike over the farm bills. He also said that dialogue is the only way to find a solution to protest by farmer unions and a break in talks can lead to miscommunication.

The 83-year-old social activist, Anna Hazare on Monday wrote to Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar warning “resumption of a hunger strike” against the Centre’s “failure” to fulfill his demands including the implementation of the recommendations made by M S Swaminathan Commission.

Hazare’s other demands include granting autonomy to the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).

“If there is no dialogue, it can lead to miscommunication, to controversy and sparring. If there is a dialogue then issues will be resolved, the whole thing will end, farmers will get justice, they will get relief. We are working in the interest of farmers,” Gadkari said.

The Centre has expressed a willingness to hold another round of talks with the farmers to sort out their issues. But the protesting farmers said they are ready for talks again but with certain conditions. The conditions include: Talks cannot be about old proposals which farm unions have rejected; the government should draw up a new agenda and discussions must be focused on a repeal of the farm laws.

Answering this, Gadkari said that the government is ready to accept good suggestions from farmers about the three laws as the government always thinks in the interest of farmers.

“Those suggestions by farmers, farmers organizations which are correct we are ready to make those changes,” he added.

There have been constant negotiations from the government’s side. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has held six rounds of discussions with the farmers so far, but all have ended inconclusively.

Read More

Collaborators who let us down in British India

(Sanjeev Sanyal, who describes himself as a writer, economist and collector of old maps, is also a very keen student of Indian history. Below...