Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait asserted that the Centre-farmer talks would resume only after those who had been arrested in the course of the protests against the Farm Laws were released. "There will not be any agreement under pressure. We will hold discussions on the farm laws' issue only after our people to be released from the jail," he said.
After the national capital was gripped with violence and anarchy on Republic Day, several such 'protestors' were taken into detention by the Delhi Police. As per the latest reports, 44 people have been arrested in the aftermath of the violence that left 394 police personnel injured while 33 FIRs have been filed in the case. Talking about the Red Fort violence Tikait remarked that the matter needed to be investigated 'fairly.'
Moreover, responding to PM Modi's 'one-phone call away' invitation to farmers, Tikat stated that while he 'respected' the PM's initiative, the unions demanded the release of their people. "Prime Minister is ours also, we are thankful for his initiative, we will respect it. We want our people to be released," Tikait said.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the Opposition parties to hold talks with the protesting farmers over the three Farm Laws, reiterating the Centre's offer to stay the reforms for 1.5 years. As per sources, addressing an all-party meeting, PM Modi stated that while the Centre and the Farm unions had not gotten to a consensus, the government was just a 'phone call away'.
"I want to reiterate what Narendra Singh Tomar told farmers. He said - we've not reached to consensus but we're giving you (farmers) the offer & you may go & deliberate. He told farmers that he was just a phone call away," PM Modi told the all-party meeting, as per sources.
From what started as a scheduled protest in the national capital on November 26, farmer unions continue to agitate 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 for the 67th consecutive day. Nearly 11 rounds of Centre-farmer talks have concluded in an impasse.