LIVE updates from farmers’ protest: agricultural unions to decide on sixth round of talks with government
The national uproar against the Center’s three controversial farm laws on Wednesday entered the 14th and there is no sign of a resolution in sight. On Tuesday, agricultural unions across the country held a nationwide Bharat Bandh against the three laws from 11 am to 3 pm, which was largely peaceful. Late at night, in an attempt to break out of the stalemate, Union Interior Minister Amit Shah chaired a meeting with 13 agricultural leaders. However, the meeting, which was supposedly “informal”, was inconclusive, as were the five rounds of talks that have taken place between the government and farmers, including three last week.
Read also | No progress as farmers tell Amit Shah they want a total reversal
Speaking to the media after the meeting, agricultural union leaders said they reiterated to Shah their demand for a complete repeal, but Shah reportedly said the government will not repeal the laws. Instead, he is said to have told Farmers Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar that he would present a “concrete” proposal at the sixth round of talks scheduled for Wednesday. Farm leaders, however, told the media they would accept a call on whether to go ahead with talks on Wednesday or not.
Later that day, a group of five opposition leaders will meet with President Ram Nath Kovind to discuss farmer agitation and seek repeal of the laws.
Read also | Opposition leaders likely to meet with the president and seek repeal of farm laws
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‘The meeting was positive, the government will give a proposal to the farmer leaders’: Rakesh Tikait from BKU
“The meeting was positive. The government will deliver a proposal to the peasant leaders that will be discussed. We want the withdrawal of the three agricultural bills, but the government wants amendments to the bills, ”says Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesman Rakesh Tikait.