The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 40 farmers’ unions, has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking resumption of talks over their demands to repeal the three laws and a legal guarantee for MSP.

“Today, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha has written a letter to the Prime Minister, asking for the resumption of talks with farmers. This letter touches upon several aspects of the farmers’ movement, and the ignorant attitude of the government,” the SKM said in a statement on Friday.

The letter has come a few days before the protest on the Delhi borders concludes six months.

It stated that the farmers will be constrained to announce further intensification of the protests if they do not get “a constructive and positive response” from the government by 25 May.

“Any democratic government would have repealed the three laws that have been rejected by the farmers in whose name these were enacted, and seized the opportunity to provide legal guarantee of MSP to all farmers,” read the letter addressed to Modi.

“As the head of the government of the largest democracy in the world, the onus of resuming a serious and sincere dialogue with the farmers lies with you,” it added.

It said that while the protesting farmers do not wish to expose anyone to the health hazards of the pandemic, they “cannot also give up on the struggle, as it is a matter of life and death, and also of future generations”.

So far, there have been 11 rounds of talks between the protesting unions and the government, but the deadlock has continued as both sides have stuck to their stand.

In January, the government had offered to suspend the farm laws for 12-18 months, which was rejected by the farmer unions.

The Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the laws till further orders and set up a committee to resolve the impasse.

A large number of farmers had reached Delhi’s borders on 26 November last year after facing water cannons and police barriers as part of their “Delhi Chalo” march against the Centre’s farm laws.

In the following months, farmers in large numbers from across the country joined the protest at Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur borders around the national capital.

The farmers are demanding that the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 be rolled back and a new law made to guarantee minimum support price for crops.

However, the government, which has held multiple rounds of formal dialogue with the protestors, has maintained that the laws will not be withdrawn.

Black day

The farmers have decided to observe 26 May as ‘black day’ to mark six months since they started protesting against the agri laws at Delhi borders.

“On 26 May, we will complete six months of this protest and it also happens to mark seven years since PM Modi formed the government. We will observe it as black day,” said farmers leader Balbir Singh Rajewal.

He appealed to the farmers to raise blags at their houses, vehicles and shops on the day.

“We appeal to people of the country and also Punjab to hang black flags at their house, shops, trucks and other vehicles. We will also burn effigies of (PM) Narendra Modi as a form of protest,” Rajewal said.

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