Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra and demanded that the three contentious agricultural laws that have triggered farmers’ protests across the country be withdrawn, ANI reported.
Farmers are opposing the laws passed in September last year because they fear that they will bring about corporate dominance in the agricultural sector. Thousands of them, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at Delhi’s entry points since November 2020, seeking the rollback of the laws.
“He [Modi] listened to me intently and said he also wants a solution to this problem and is working in this direction,” Channi stold reporters after the meeting, according to PTI.
The Punjab chief also asked Modi to resume talks with the protestors. “I feel the matter can only be resolved through dialogue,” he added.
Channi also urged Modi to set aside the Centre’s decision to postpone the procurement of paddy from Punjab, NDTV reported.
Paddy procurement season in Punjab usually begins on October 1. This year, however, the government delayed procurement from both Punjab and Haryana till October 11 because of “delayed crop maturity due to recent heavy rains”, The Indian Express reported.
The Punjab chief minister said that his state’s economy was driven by agriculture and it could only progress if the farmers are happy, PTI reported.
Channi, Punjab’s first Dalit chief minister, had expressed support for the farmers’ protest soon after taking oath on September 20.
On Tuesday, Channi had said that he would sit outside the prime minister’s residence in protest against the laws, The Pioneer reported. “I will lead the people of Punjab to Delhi,” the chief minister had said.