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Farmers protesting against the three contentious farm laws are willing to talk to the Centre if extended an invitation to do so, said BKU leader Rakesh Tikair on Sunday.

He stated that the dialogue would resume where it had halted on 22 January as the demands of farmers remain unchanged.

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He said for the talks to resume, the government should invite the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body representing the protesters who are camping at the three border points of Delhi at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur since November 2020.

“The talks with the government would resume from the same point where it had ended on 22 January. The demands are also the same -- all three 'black' farm laws should be repealed, a new law made to ensure MSP (minimum support price) for crops," Tikait was quoted as saying in a statement issued by BKU media in-charge Dharmendra Malik.

The BKU national spokesperson's remarks came in response to Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij urging Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar to resume talks with protesting farmers amid the coronavirus scare looming large.

Maintaining that a surge in Covid-19 cases is being seen across the country and the situation is turning bad in Haryana too, Vij said he is worried about the farmers protesting on the state borders with Delhi.

The protesters and the government last had a formal dialogue over the contentious issue on 22 January but the impasse continued. On 26 January, the protestors had carried out a 'tractor parade' in Delhi which had escalated into violence.

Tomar's statement

The agriculture minister on Saturday stated that the government is ready for more talks with the farmers regarding the three farm laws.

"Many farmers unions, economists are supporting the agricultural bills but some farmers are protesting against the bills," Tomar said adding, "the government held 11 round of talks with protesting farmer unions, we are ready for more talks."

"We offered to discuss problematic areas and make changes in them. Farmer unions didn't accept and didn't give reason. Agitation continues either when government isn't ready to talk or when union doesn't get favourable response. Here unions decided to continue it anyway," Tomar added.

Tomar also appealed to the farmers protesting at Delhi borders to call off their long-running agitation amidst massive rise in Covid cases.

With inputs from agencies.


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