Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra on Thursday said that the government is hopeful of a resolution for the farmers’ protest before the commencement of the wheat procurement season from March. Chopra, who was also part of the official team that accompanied the three Union ministers to Chandigarh for the talks with farmers, does not see the ongoing stir impacting wheat procurement in any way.

Briefing media in New Delhi, he said that the government is willing for further talks and address all the concerns of the protesting farmers, who have been demanding legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) and implementation of the Swaminathan formula. “As told by the Agriculture Minister, we are willing for further talks. We are happy to talk to them. Probably, we were not able to communicate the full intent. I think constant communication will help resolve the communication gap,” Chopra said. The government had given the proposals to the farmer leaders considering their concerns like lowering of water table and soil quality, he added.

March postponed

On Wednesday, farmer unions decided to postpone the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march for two days after one young farmer was killed and several got injured due to Haryana Police resorting to tear-gas shelling at Khanauri and Shambhu on the Punjab-Haryana border.

The Congress party on Thursday demanded that a special session of Parliament be convened to discuss the pressing issues of the farmers. It also urged the Punjab government to convene a similar session of the state assembly to deliberate on the issue. Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters, Chairman of Congress party’s farmer cell Sukhpal Singh Khaira condemned the ‘brutal’ use of force by the Haryana government on farmers of Punjab. He wondered why the Punjab government had not yet registered an FIR over the killing of a farmer in its own territory.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha on Thursday demanded the registration of a murder case against Haryana Chief Minister and the Haryana Home Minister over the death of a protesting farmer. Trinamool Congress MP Saket Gokhale has also taken up the issue by writing to the National Human Rights Commission, demanding an enquiry.