Ahead of crucial talks between the Centre and farmer leaders over their agitation against the new farm laws, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will meet Home Minister Amit Shah at his residence on Thursday. Sources said that Singh will hold deliberations with Shah on Thursday morning in Delhi in an effort to work out an amicable solution to the deadlock.
The Punjab Chief Minister and his Congress party have been supporting the farmers' stir and the state Assembly had also passed a set of bills aimed at negating the Centre's farm legislation.
Singh had said that he and his government were willing to mediate in the talks between the Centre and the farmers in the collective interest of all.
The protesting farmers, a large number of whom are from Punjab, have been holding sit-ins for seven days on the borders of the national capital. They are demanding that the government withdraw the new farm laws if it wants them to end their stir.
The farmer leaders and the central government are set to hold another round of discussions on Thursday after a meeting on Tuesday was inconclusive.
Farmer unions claim the new laws will lead to the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving farmers to the mercy of corporate houses. But the government says the system will continue and the laws will give farmers more options to sell their crops.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the protesting farmers wrote to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Wednesday, demanding a special session of Parliament to repeal the new farm laws and asking the government to not "indulge in divisive agenda" to break farmers' unity.
"We ask the government not to indulge in any divisive agendas with regard to the farmers' movement which is united in its demands at this point of time. This was clear from the meeting proceedings yesterday (Tuesday)," Samyukt Kisan Morcha Coordination Committee, which is spearheading the protests, said in the letter.
According to the letter, the leaders asked the Centre to ensure that representatives of various farmer organisations and their alliances are decided by the farmers and not by the government, and that the all-India alliances that have been at the forefront of the agitation get representation in the consultations.