Photographs of some protesters on the Tikri border, seen holding placards demanding the release of activists arrested under various charges it had gone viral, prompting Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to say that these “antisocial elements” are conspiring to spoil the atmosphere of the peasant movement disguised as farmers.
He also said the government is sensitive to farmers and is in talks with them and their representatives to resolve their concerns.
“A proposal has also been sent to resolve the farmers’ objection to the farmers union and the government is ready for further discussion,” Tomar tweeted.
The Minister of Food, Railways and Consumer Affairs, Piyush Goyal, was more direct in his position, claiming that certain leftist and Maoist elements appear to have taken “control” of the agitation and instead of arguing over agricultural issues, they seem to have another schedule.
In a tweet, he said: “The people of India are watching, seeing what is happening, observing how all over the country the leftist-Maoists do not find any support and therefore they are trying to hijack this agitation of farmers. and trying to misuse this platform to schedule themselves. ”
Peasant leaders had insisted on Thursday that their ongoing protest against the new agricultural laws it was “apolitical.”
Meanwhile, the leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, Rakesh Tikait, stated on Friday that nothing other than the removal of the new agricultural laws will be accepted and that if the government wants to speak, the peasant leaders should be communicated formally as on occasions previous.
The government had asked farmers’ groups to consider their proposals to amend the laws to address their concerns and said it was open to further discussing their offer when unions wanted.
“They (the government) should first tell us when and where they want to meet with us as they did in previous formal talks. If they invite us to talk, we will discuss it with our coordinating committee and then we will make a decision,” Tikait told PTI. .
The BKU leader said there was no possibility of returning home until the government repealed all three laws. When asked if the government had sent any invitations for further discussion, he said the farmers’ unions have not received anything as such.
“One thing is very clear: farmers will accept nothing less than the removal of new farm laws,” he said.
Peasant leaders announced on Thursday that they would block train tracks across the country if the government did not comply with their demands and would announce a date for that soon.
At least five rounds of formal discussions have been held between the Center and representatives of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, protesting at various borders in the national capital for about two weeks, but the stalemate has continued with unions sticking to their main demand for the repeal of the three contentious laws.
The sixth round of talks between the government and agricultural union leaders, scheduled for Wednesday morning, was canceled.