Several farmers groups met agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday and pledged their support for the centre’s agriculture laws.

The delegation of 20 people, most of whom were from Haryana, spoke about how these laws will bring farmers out of the vicious circle of poverty and exploitation and shared their experiences with the minister.

The memorandum given to the minister reads that laws should continue and so should MSP and mandis. It also stated that suggestions and amendments suggested by farmers should be implemented. Those present in the meeting urged the minister to make a few amendments but not to go back on these laws.Maan Singh Yadav, Gurugram, Progressive Farmers Union, the president claimed that those agitating on borders have been misled. “It is easy to mislead farmers. They are honest. There is scope of building trust with them by making certain amendments,” said Yadav.

Athar Singh Sandhu of Bharatiya Kisan Union (A) said that the government has accepted their 10-year-old demand. “We are hopeful that our farmers and their young generation will see it as a fruitful profession. I urge you not to take back the laws,” he said to the minister.

Kamal Singh Chauhan, Progressive Farmer Club president Sonepat and Padma Shri awardee claimed that he had started agriculture in 1978 and since then demanding amendment in APMC laws.

“The law is progressive in every sense. Those who are agitating may be doing so because they may have been influenced or must have seen some shortcomings. Minimum Support Price (MSP) will not be taken back and mandis will be functional and tax will be slashed in mandis for their survival. People are afraid that mandis will be dead. Repeal of laws will harm the farmers. Tax is an issue and can be deliberated on,” said Chauhan.

This meeting came in wake of the Bharat Bandh call given by various farmers’ unions which are agitating against three new farm laws: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 – and demanding nothing short of repeal of the laws.

The government has had five rounds of talks with them and the next is scheduled for December 9.

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