Dialogue only way to resolve Centre-farmers standoff: BJP leader Birender Singh

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Chandigarh, May 17 (PTI) Senior BJP leader and former Union minister Birender Singh on Monday asserted that dialogue between the government and farmers protesting against the new farm laws is the only way forward to resolve the issue.

He also condemned the violent clashes in Hisar on Sunday wherein the protesting farmers had tried to march towards the venue where Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had gone to inaugurate a COVID hospital.

Singh said there is a need to go to the root of the matter to prevent reoccurrence of “unfortunate” event like this.

“There is a need to go to the root of the matter to prevent reoccurrence of unfortunate happening which took place in Hisar. Should the government not take a step ahead and talk to the farmers? There should be no further delay in finding a solution,” he said in a tweet.

Scores of farmers have been protesting for nearly six months at various border points near Delhi, demanding rollback of the new farm laws. They have claimed that these legislations will remove the safety net of the minimum support price (MSP) and leave them at the mercy of big corporates.

The farmers in Haryana have also been opposing public functions of BJP-JJP leaders in the state.

Batting for dialogue to resolve the farmers issue, Singh told PTI over phone, “From day one of the peasants movement, I am for dialogue. If you start dialogue, there would be positive results from both sides.” Singh is also the grandson of Sir Chhotu Ram, a prominent politician during the pre-independence era who championed the interest of farmers.

He said CM Khattar should also try to restore the dialogue with the central leaders.

“If the stalemate continues like this, we will move towards a grim situation of law and order, which is not in the interest of the nation,” Singh said.

The BJP leader had joined a dharna in support of the protesting farmers at Sampla in Rohtak in December 2020 and the sit-in had been organised by members of the Sir Chhotu Ram Manch.

Asked about the COVID-19 situation in Haryana, he said the government was making all efforts to tackle the problem.

In villages, he said, many people are still reluctant to get their tests done, though many now are coming forward for vaccination.

“We need to scale up the vaccination efforts, especially among the rural population,” he added.