Chandigarh, Oct 12 (PTI) The Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, a farmers' body in Punjab, on Monday decided not to attend the Centre's October 14 meeting to discuss the new farm laws.
The committee's general secretary, Sarwan Singh Pandher, said they have decided not to accept the invitation for the meeting as Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be there.
The meeting in Delhi has been called by a secretary-rank officer of the Union Agriculture department who is not in a position to take a call on repealing these laws, Pandher noted.
He said the prime minister should take out time to meet farmers and talk on the issue, which has lead to farmers' protests in some parts of the country.
Moreover, Pandher said, farmers' bodies of other states, including Haryana, have not been invited for the meeting.
'If Prime Minister Narendra Modi invites farmers' bodies of Punjab and Haryana and announces to scrap the new farm laws, we will welcome it,” he said.
Farmers under the banner of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee have been squatting on the Amritsar-Delhi rail track at Devidaspura in Amritsar since September 24 in protest against the three farm legislation enacted by the Centre recently.
The Union Agriculture department had invited various farmers' organisations in Punjab for talks over the farm law issue on October 14 in Delhi, farmers' bodies had earlier said.
Representatives of other farmers' organisations said they will decide on whether to accept the Centre's invitation on Tuesday.
The farmers' organisations, whose agitation against the farm laws has disrupted rail traffic and severely impacted coal supply for thermal power plants in Punjab, had rejected the Union Agriculture department's invitation to participate in a 'conference to address their concerns' on October 8.
Farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the 'mercy' of big corporates.
The government, however, has been saying that these laws will raise farmers' income, free them from the clutches of the middleman and usher in new technology in farming. PTI CHS VSD DPB