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Farmers Reject Centre's 5-Year MSP Proposal, To Continue March From Feb 21

During the fourth round of talks in Chandigarh on Sunday, a proposal was presented to the farmers by a panel consisting of three Union ministers - Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda, and Nityanand Rai.

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Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee General Secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher
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Farmers' representatives on Monday turned down the government's offer for government agencies to purchase pulses, maize, and cotton at MSP for a five-year period, stating that it did not serve the farmers' best interests.

The proposal was presented to the farmers by a panel of three Union ministers - Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda, and Nityanand Rai - during the fourth round of discussions in Chandigarh on Sunday.

On Monday, farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal said, "After holding discussion (on the Centre's proposal) in our two forums, it has been decided that the Centre's proposal is not in the interest of farmers and we reject this proposal."

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After the fourth round of talks with the farmers on Sunday night, Union minister Piyush Goyal said, "Cooperative societies like the National Cooperative Consumers Federation and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India will enter into a contract with farmers who grow 'tur dal', 'urad dal', 'masoor dal' or maize for buying their crop at MSP for next five years."

"There will be no limit on the quantity (purchased) and a portal will be developed for this," he had said.

On allegations of Punjab government being hand-in-glove with the NDA, Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee General Secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher said, “We want to clear it with the Punjab government. You say that you will take the legal route, so go ahead. The internet should not be shut down in Punjab. I don’t think the Union government has enough authority to shut down the internet without the agreement of the state government. Children's education will suffer. Who will be responsible?”

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Goyal also suggested that the Cotton Corporation of India would purchase cotton from farmers at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for a period of five years, following the establishment of a legal contract with them.

As per reports, the farmers will resume their 'Delhi Chalo' march from February 21.

Demonstrating farmers have remained stationed at Shambhu and Khanauri points on the border of Punjab and Haryana after their 'Delhi Chalo' protest to urge the government for several requests, such as a legal assurance of the minimum support price (MSP) for their crops.

This came after their march to Delhi was halted by security forces, resulting in clashes last week.

Besides a legal guarantee of MSP, the farmers are demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases and "justice" for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, and compensation to the families of the farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020-21.

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