Govt invites farmers for talks on Wed, says it has ‘open mind’ on demands

The government has called farmers for a meeting on Wednesday in Delhi to discuss three new laws liberalising India’s agriculture markets, saying it had an “open mind” about their demands.

The agriculture ministry invited representatives of more than a dozen unions for the meeting at 2pm in Vigyan Bhawan, new agency ANI reported. It said the government was “committed” to resolving the issues farmers had raised about the laws and minimum support price for their produce.

Tens of thousands of farmers are camping out on highways near the capital New Delhi in protest at the laws implemented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government that they fear will dismantle regulated agricultural markets, threaten their livelihood and benefit large companies.

ALSO READ: Farmers’ protest LIVE: Centre calls farmers for meeting on Dec 30 in Delhi

Modi had on Friday accused Opposition parties of “pushing a political agenda” by spreading lies about the laws, Friday as he offered farmers talks “based on facts and logic”.

“My dear farmers, please hear me clearly, you can sell your produce where you get the correct price. If you want to sell it at minimum support price, please do. You want to sell it to mandi, other states, to industries please do. No mandi will be closed; will stay. Do not listen to the rumours,” he said, referring to agricultural markets and the government’s support price for farmers.

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