Home Minister Amit Shah will meet representatives of farmers at 7 p.m. in Delhi to discuss reforms in India’s agriculture market that have sparked protests leading to nationwide shutdown on Tuesday.
“We have a meeting with the Home Minister at 7 pm today. We are going to Singhu border now and from there we will go to the Home Minister,” said Rakesh Tikait, a spokesperson for Bharatiya Kisan Union, one of the dozens of groups camping outside Delhi to protest the reforms.
“I received a phone call. Amit Shah has called a meeting. We have been called at 7 pm,” said Tikait, according to NDTV.
Shah will meet farmers for talks a day before sixth round of government negotiations on Wednesday. The nationwide shutdown on Tuesday led to road and rail traffic being affected in parts of the country and some markets were shut.
Shah will meet farmers’ representatives for the first time to discuss their demands. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Railway, Commerce and Food Minister Piyush Goyal have been leading the talks at Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan.
Tens of thousands of farmers are camping around Delhi again on Friday, rallying against three laws that the government says are meant to overhaul antiquated procurement procedures and give growers more options to sell their produce.
Farmers fear the legislation, passed in September, will eventually dismantle India’s regulated markets and stop the government from buying wheat and rice at guaranteed prices, leaving them at the mercy of private buyers.
(With inputs from ANI)