AGENCIES, New Delhi: Farmer leaders on Thursday refused the lunch offered by the government during their meeting with three Union ministers here and preferred to eat the food ferried in a van from the Singhu border, where thousands of their colleagues are sitting in protest against the new agriculture laws.
The fourth-round of talks began around noon amid ongoing protests by farmers seeking repeal of the laws. During the lunch break, a small van carrying food for around 40 people was seen outside the Vigyan Bhawan, where the meeting is underway.
“Our farmers’ representatives did not accept the lunch offered by the government and we arranged it from the Singhu border,” Lok Sangarsh Morcha president Pratibha Shinde told PTI.
Farmers’ leaders told the government to focus on resolving the issues instead of trying to be a good host by offering lunch, she said.
“How can we have lunch offered by the government when our fellow farmers are sitting on roads,” said Shinde, whose organisation is among the 40 farmers’ groups engaged in the talks.
Thousands of farmers have been camping at the Singhu and Tikri borders of the national capital for the last eight days as part of their protest against the laws.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Railways, Commerce and Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash, who is an MP from Punjab, are holding talks with the representatives of the farmer groups at the Vigyan Bhawan.
The government said that the meeting started in the afternoon and discussions are being held in a cordial atmosphere.