Amid agitation continues Farmer union leaders resumed talks with central government


Farmer union leaders resumed talks with the central government late on Thursday evening in Chandigarh even as protesting farmers continued to picket the Punjab-Haryana border as part of the ongoing agitation for a law guaranteeing minimum support price (MSP) for 23 crops.

The farmers have also demanded the removal of Ajay Mishra Teni, whose son is accused of mowing down farmers, from the Union council of ministers, among a host of other demands.

The talks began over three hours behind schedule due to the late arrival of central ministers Arjun Munda, Piyush Goyal and Nityanand Rai. The union leaders had arrived on time for the meeting. Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann was also present in the meeting, which went on late into the night.

This was the third round of talks between the two sides. The two previous rounds of dialogue on February 8 and 12 remained inconclusive.

After two tense days, the Shambhu and Khanauri borders between Haryana and Punjab were relatively calm on Thursday as farmers waited for the meeting to take place, after which the further course of action is expected to be charted.

Inside Punjab, rail traffic was disrupted for a few hours during the day as farmers aligned to the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) and the Daner faction of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda) squatted on train tracks to protest the teargassing on protesting farmers at the Shambhu and Khanauri borders earlier in the week.

Elsewhere in the state, farmers belonging to groups that are part of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha — the original collective which had spearheaded the year-long farmers’ agitation in 2020-21 — freed toll plazas across Punjab for a few hours in solidarity with the farming community picketing the state’s borders with Haryana

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