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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 28 October 2021 3.24 AM IST

PM Modi to meet farmers from Punjab during visit to Kutch; over 60,000 protesters at Haryana borders

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NEW DELHI: Even as protests against three farm laws continue on Delhi borders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will today interact with farmers in Kutch, including those from Punjab, during his visit to the border district. While the farmers — who have been protesting for 20 days now — want the three legislations to be scrapped, the government said that it is willing to continue talks but won’t take back the laws.

“A repeal is not possible, and a 0-1 binary will not work. The government has given an amendment option. It is also willing to change the wordings of the three laws based on farmer concerns,” said a top government source who is in the know of developments in Krishi Bhawan. “The door for talks is always open.” The previous five rounds of talks have remained inconclusive. The last scheduled round, on December 9, was cancelled after a meeting between Shah and representatives of farm unions.

Meanwhile, with the number of protesters at Delhi’s borders growing by the day, senior officers in Haryana Police said the borders can’t take more people as “the situation is increasingly turning unsustainable”. Haryana Police said more than 60,000 protesters are camping at the borders while the farmer leaders said the figure is higher. Apart from far-flung areas of Punjab, farmers have been arriving from Haryana, MP, UP and other parts of the country to join the protest.

With no end to the deadlock between protesting farmers and the government even after multiple rounds of talks, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said the photograph of "a person who supports the Naxalite movement" was seen during the farmers' agitation against the three new farm laws.


"I'm not speaking of all farmers and farmer organisations, but I want to ask you something. In our Gadchiroli district, near Nagpur, in Vidarbha, a person who supports the Naxalite movement was investigated. The court also did not grant him bail. How did his photo appear in this movement? What is his link to farming and farmers?" Mr Gadkari said when asked about his stand that an attempt is being to mislead the farmers over the laws.

Mr Gadkari, who is the Union Transport Minister, said there are "some elements that are using this farmers' movement to defame them and take the agenda to another angle".

"Someone who gave anti-national speeches, someone who has no direct or indirect links with farmers, how did his photo appear? So I said there are some elements that are using this farmers' movement to defame them and take the agenda to another angle. This is not the agenda of farmers and farmer organisations. Farmers should stay away from that. That's all," he said.

The minister made the remarks when asked if the government could've held talks with farmers before the farms bills were passed, rather having having dialogue now after they became laws.

Last Friday, government sources alleged that the farmers' demonstrations were hijacked by the "ultra-left", drawing a parallel between the farmers' agitation and the Bhima-Koregaon violence near Pune in 2018.

Government sources blamed the "ultra-left" and "pro-Left Wing Extremist elements" for the farmers' movement taking a sinister turn.

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TAGS: FARMERS PROTEST, NARENDRA MODI, PRIME MINISTER, FARMERS STIR, GOVERNMENT, FIVE ROUND OF TALKS, NITIN GADKARI, NAXALITE MOVEMENT
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