Punjab BJP Leaders To Meet Amit Shah Ahead Of Talks With Farmers Tomorrow
Punjab BJP leaders will meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah this evening, two days after they met Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid nationwide protests against the centre’s agriculture laws.
The BJP’s Surjit Kumar Jyani, Harjit Singh Grewal and Vijay Sampla will meet Mr Shah at 7 pm. The meeting also comes a day before the centre is to hold a fresh round of talks with protesting farmers to try and end the months-long stand-off.
Mr Jyani, who is a former state minister, and Mr Grewal met Prime Minister Modi at his residence in Delhi. Both were members of the ruling party’s Kisan Coordination Committee that last year met with Punjab farmers to discuss the bills. At that time the farm bills had not yet been passed.
“PM Modi knows a lot… all will be resolved and something good will happen. I cannot disclose what transpired but something good will happen… when something is being conceived there are fears that it might get miscarriage,” Mr Grewal told news agency PTI after the meeting.
The protest has been widely seen as being led by farmers from Punjab, where Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is a fierce and vocal critic of the laws. Yesterday he urged Prime Minister Modi to “bring in new laws after consultation with farmers” and resolve the situation.
The protest in Punjab also made headlines last month after hundreds of mobile telecom towers (many of which belonged to Reliance Jio) were vandalised by irate farmers.
Mr Singh has directed the police to take action against the guilty, but the incident also fueled further criticism of his government by the BJP. The opposition party said he had lost control of law and order and labelled the protesting farmers “urban naxals”.
A furious Mr Singh called the comments “downright foolish and petty” and advised the BJP to concentrate on law and order and policy-making in Delhi, where, he said, “misdirected action (and) bad policy” had led to the farmers’ protests being “mishandled”.
Tens of thousands of farmers across the country are protesting against three agriculture laws that the centre says will reform the sector. The centre says these laws will help farmers eliminate middlemen and sell at markets and prices of their choice.
The farmers fear the laws will rob them of MSPs (minimum support price) and, by dismantling government-controlled mandis, or wholesale markers, leave them at the mercy of the corporates.
Multiple rounds of talks have failed to yield a breakthrough, with the farmers insisting on a legal guarantee for MSP and that the laws be scrapped. The centre has said the laws will remain, but has offered to form a committee to study other grievances.
Last month Amit Shah met with some farmers leaders in Delhi but that meeting too also failed.
The next round of talks is scheduled for Tuesday at 2 pm.
With input from PTi