A four-hour long meeting between Haryana farm union leaders led by Gurnam Singh Chadhuni and CM Manohar Lal Khattar Friday remained inconclusive as no agreement could be reached on farmers’ demands, including withdrawal of cases registered against protesters during their stir against farm laws.
“The net result after our talks is that there was no agreement reached on our demands,” said Chaduni.
Next course of action will be decided in the Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s meeting on Saturday, he said.
At least eight farmer leaders from Haryana including Chadhuni, Rakesh Bains, Rampal Chahal, Ratan Maan, Jarnail Singh, Joginder Nain, Inderjit Singh and Abhimanyu Kuhad met Khattar at his Chandigarh camp office in the evening.
A team of state government’s senior bureaucrats was also present.
It was the first official meeting between Haryana farmer union leaders and Khattar.
There was no official reaction on the meeting, from the government’s side.
After the meeting, Chaduni added: “We will decide the next course of action in SKM’s meeting scheduled tomorrow on December 4. We could not get any satisfactory reply from the government’s side. We asked state government for financial compensation, government jobs for the kin of farmers who sacrificed their lives in this ongoing agitation.
We also asked the government to provide land to construct a memorial for those farmers. We also asked government to withdraw the criminal cases registered against the farmers. All these issues were raised, but no agreement could be achieved”.
Asked as to what was the government’s approach during the meeting, Chaduni said, “It was neither soft nor hard. But there was no agreement.”
“All that transpired will be put before the SKM meeting,” said farm union leader Kuhad.
“The meeting took place for nearly four hours. Farmer leaders put forth certain demands, which were discussed. Those demands are being considered. As of now, there is no comment from the government’s side on today’s meeting,” a state government spokesperson told The Indian Express.
Sources, however, said that the state government asked farmer union leaders to first lift the blockades on national highway and then discuss withdrawal of criminal cases and other demands with them. However, farmer leaders insisted that the government should make the first move and withdraw criminal cases, accept the remaining demands too and then only they would take a call on their further course of action.
When PM Narendra Modi had announced that the Union government has taken a decision to repeal all three central farm legislations, Khattar (at a public event) had said that “the back channel talks had been continuing that eventually resulted in this decision of the union government”.
Recently, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar had said the right to cancel cases against farmers is a state matter.
Khattar had a few days ago said the state government will consider “sympathetically” the farmers’ demand for withdrawal of police cases registered against them during the course of their year-long agitation against farm laws.
(WITH PTI INPUTS)