He further said, “A large number of farmers from across the country are coming out in support of the laws. We are meeting them and also getting their letters and phone calls. We welcome and thank all of them.”
NEW DELHI: Still hopeful of an amicable solution, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Wednesday that the protesting farmer unions would definitely arrive at a solution keeping in mind the welfare of farmers.
“We are meeting farmers who are opposing these laws and also those who are in support of farm reforms. We think only about farmer welfare and I hope agitating farmers will also think about welfare of farmers and arrive at a consensus,” Tomar said a day before the scheduled tractor march to be organised by the protesting farmer unions at the four borders of Delhi including the Eastern and Western Peripheral expressways.
Tomar also met Sanjay Nath Singh, grandson of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, who had promoted green revolution in Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh for self-sufficiency in food grain production. Singh is secretary general and working president of the All India Farmers Association, a farmer organisation with more than 10,000 members, which has pledged support for the farm laws.
“Earlier, there was a green revolution in the country. Now historical farm reforms will change the fortune of small and marginal farmers,” said Singh.
The agriculture minister had earlier said that the government would discuss farm laws with farmer unions from across the country. Even after seven rounds of talks, farmer unions and government have failed to reach a consensus on the contentious farm laws and legal backing for minimum support price (MSP). The next round of talks is scheduled for Friday.
The protesting farmers are firm on their demand of repealing farm laws while the government is seeking a clause-by-clause discussion on the laws. The government is also ready to give a written assurance on continuing with the present system of MSP.
“More than 500,000 farmers from over a dozen unions have pledged their support for the laws. These farmers want better realisation of their crops without any amendment to the existing Acts,” said an agriculture ministry official, who did not wish to be identified.