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No one ready to say what is ‘black’ in Centre’s farm laws: Agri. Min. Tomar

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Today’s Rajya Sabha session was all about farmers’ protest and farm laws or say ‘black laws’ (as what famers’ call it) against which the crop growers from across the nation have been demonstrating for over past three months. Talking to reporters, after the parliamentary session, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, on Friday, complained that no one, who was criticising the laws, was willing to talk about the provisions in the farm laws. He also asked what was ‘black’ about farm laws.

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Tomar also elaborated that the draft bills were circulated to various ministries and departments for comments and state governments were ‘consulted’ through video conferencing.

“As far as farm laws are concerned, I was in Rajya Sabha today and I noticed that no one is ready to say what is black in the ‘black laws’. If you are protesting against the law, then discussion should be held on its provisions. Unfortunately, this is not happening,” the agricultural minister said.

Tomar’s comment could be based on the backdrop that the opposition parties such as Congress, BJP’s former ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) have at several occasions referred them as ‘black laws’.

Meanwhile, defending Centre’s newly formed three farm laws in the Upper House of the Parliament, Tomar said that when the government promulgated ordinances that were subsequently enacted into farm laws in 2020, the draft ordinance was circulated to various ministries/ departments for comments. “States were consulted via video conferencing on May 21, 2020, attended by officials of 13 States/UTs,” he said.

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“So, I have told all the leaders of the parties as well as farmers that the government is ready for an open discussion. We have been talking to them. We have given them a proposal, we will talk with them again after their proposal comes,” he further said.

So far, 11 rounds of talks have taken place between the government and protesting farmers, which has reached a deadlock as both the sides have failed to come to a conclusion. In the last meeting, the government had offered a 18 months hold on the contentious legislature, but farmers refused it asking complete roll back of the laws.

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