By Joymala Bagchi
New Delhi [India], December 3 (ANI): The elderly farmers protesting at Nirankari Samagam Ground in Delhi's Burari on Thursday said they have no hopes from the meeting with the Centre scheduled later in the day to resolve their issues.
A delegation of farmers is scheduled to meet Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday.
Speaking to ANI in the wee hours of the eighth day of protest, 69-year-old Gyan Singh from Punjab said, "Earlier also several such meetings happened but no solutions came in our favour. We have no hopes from the meetings today. The government must think about our interest else we will stay here longer."
Balbinder Singh, 76, who also came from Punjab said that farmers will leave the national capital immediately if their demands are accepted by the Centre.
"Our decision completely depends on how the government is settling the issue. We'll stay here till our issues are resolved," Balbinder Singh.
"Our issues are not limited to the demand for minimum support price (MSP) but the entire bill," said Kalabjit Singh, the 70-year-old farmer from Mansa district of Punjab.
Many farmers here complained that earlier they sold maize for Rs 1,700 to 1,800 but now they sell it for Rs 700 which they said has put their survival in jeopardy.
According to reports, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh are scheduled to meet today ahead of talks of farmers with the Centre.
Meanwhile, farmers' leaders have departed from Singhu border for their meeting the government on farm laws.
"35 leaders are going to meet the government. We are educated farmers. We know what is good for us. We want these laws to be withdrawn," said a farmer.
The government had held the third round of talks with farmer representatives on Tuesday. During the talks, the Centre has offered to set up a committee, which the farmers' unions rejected, and instead demanded a special session of parliament to repeal what they have called "black laws" made to favour corporate bodies. Farmers said they'll continue their protest till their issues are resolved.
Tomar said the meeting on Tuesday was good where farmer unions were urged to share specific issues related to farm Acts which will be discussed during the fourth round of meeting on December 3 and added that "it remains to be seen to what extent issues can be resolved".
However, the Union Agriculture Minister had maintained that the farm laws are in the interest of farmers and the reforms have been done after a long wait and the government is ready to address their concerns.
Notably, farmers have warned that Thursday's talks are the "last chance" for the government to take a decision on the laws.
"Tomorrow is the last chance for the government to take a decision to repeal the laws, otherwise this movement will become huge and the government will fall," Pratibha Shinde of the Lok Sangharsh Morcha said.
Apart from Tomar, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash were also present in the meeting held with farmer leaders on Tuesday.
Several farmers from different parts of the country like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are also marching towards Delhi to join the protest against new farm laws.
The farmers are protesting against The 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. (ANI)