Home Minister Amit Shah said the Centre will hold talks with the agitating farmers’ unions on December 3 and if they want to hold discussions before that, they will have to shift their protests at a government-designated venue. Amit Shah on Saturday reached out to thousands of farmers who have been camping in and outside Delhi to protest against the farm laws passed by the Centre recently. “The government is ready to deliberate on every problem and demand of the farmers,” Mr Shah said in a video message.
“If farmers’ unions want to hold discussions before December 3 then, I want to assure you all, that as soon as you shift your protest to the structured place, the government will hold talks to address your concerns the very next day,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Thousands of farmers marching from Punjab under the “Delhi Chalo” campaign braved watercannons and tear gas shells to reach Delhi on Friday. They were, however, not allowed into the national capital. As the protests continued, the Centre, which looks after the national capital’s law and order, relented and fixed a place for their agitation. The protestors, however, refused to go to the outer Delhi venue and are camping at several places on the outskirts of the national capital.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday said he will not speak to his Haryana counter Manohar Lal Khattar until he seeks an apology for “inflicting brutality” on farmers marching to Delhi. The Punjab chief minister also junked the allegations that he did not speak to Khattar over the farmers’ issue despite repeated attempts by the Haryana CM, according to a statement. “Khattar is lying that he tried calling me earlier and I did not respond. But now, after what he has done to my farmers, I will not speak to him even if he calls me 10 times. Unless he apologises and admits that he did wrong with Punjab’s farmers, I will not forgive him,” said Singh, seeking apology from the Haryana CM for “inflicting brutality” on farmers.