Before the meeting with the Centre, the farm leaders demanded an order to give a legal guarantee to the MSP.

A day before the crucial meeting with Union Ministers, farm leaders on Saturday asked the Centre to bring an ordinance on giving a legal guarantee to MSP, while a tractor march and dharnas were held in support of farmers protesting at the borders of Punjab. Farm leader Sarwan Singh Pandher also said the entire country is looking to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for addressing the farmers’ demands and expressed hope that the farmers will get “good news” after the Sunday’s meeting with the Centre. “Now the ball is in the government’s court”, Union Ministers Arjun Munda, Piyush Goyal and Nityanand Rai and farmer leaders from Punjab will meet on Sunday for the fourth round of talks. The two sides met earlier on February 8, 12 and 15, but those talks remained inconclusive.

On the fifth day of their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march — called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha the farmers stayed put at the Shambhu and Khanauri points of the Punjab-Haryana border as they press the Centre to accept their demands, including a legal guarantee to minimum support price (MSP) for crops. Pandher demanded that the Centre should bring an ordinance on giving a legal guarantee to MSP, a key demand of protesting farmers.

Stating that the Centre has a right to take “political” decisions, Pandher said, “If the government wants resolution of farmers’ protest, then it should bring an ordinance with an immediate effect that it will enact a law on MSP, then discussion can proceed further”. “It (Centre) can bring the ordinance overnight, if it wants to Speaking to reporters at the Shambhu border, Pandher said as far as the issue of modalities is concerned, any ordinance has a six-month validity. As far as the demand for “C2 plus 50 percent” as per the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendation goes, Pandher said that the government was giving a price according to the “A2 plus FL” formula. “Under the same formula, an ordinance can be brought,” In another media interaction in the evening, Pandher said, “The whole country is looking to the powerful Prime Minister to gather up courage and take a decision on ordinance on legal guarantee to MSP and debt waiver.” “We hope that we will get good news from tomorrow’s meeting. We have not taken back our programme of going to Delhi. If they (the Centre) accept our demands, then the issue can get resolved. Now the ball is in the government’s court.

Farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal, who is spearheading the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march along with Pandher, also said that the government should bring an ordinance for “giving something to people of the country”.

“The government should bring the ordinance with such an intention that it is implemented with immediate effect, and within six months, it can be converted into a law and there is no problem in that”.

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