‘Farmers were unyielding in the face of demand for repeal of farm laws’ – Union Minister Narendra Tomar on why talks failed
The government has said the seventh round of talks with farmers was inconclusive because protesters were adamant about the withdrawal of the three farm laws. Union agriculture minister Narendra Tomar said he is “hopeful” for a conclusion to be reached in the next round of talks to be held on January 8.
“Looking at today’s discussion, I hope that we will have a meaningful discussion during our next meeting and come to a conclusion,” Tomar said after their meeting in Vigyan Bhawan, Delhi. He also stated that it is necessary to make efforts on both sides to reach a solution. “Taali dono haathon se bajti hai (it takes both hands to clap),” said the minister.
Meanwhile, farmers said they will not back down until the government repeals all three laws and gives them a legal guarantee on the MSP (minimum support price) system for the purchase of their crops. “Our demands were debated: repeal of the three laws and MSP … kanoon wapasi nahi, to ghar wapasi nahi (We will not go home until the laws are withdrawn)”, the ANI news agency quoted Rakesh Tikait, spokesman. of Bharatiya. Kisan Union, as it says.
Read also | Agricultural laws will not be repealed, government tells farmers; next round of talks on January 8
Farmers have been protesting at the gates of Delhi since November 26 last year against the recently enacted agricultural laws: the Trade in Agricultural Products and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020, the Farmer Price Assurance Agreement (Empowerment and Protection) and Agriculture Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
Now, the next round of talks will take place on January 8 at 2pm. The leaders of the agricultural unions will have their own meeting on Tuesday to decide their next course of action.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur border points in Delhi demanding the repeal of the three laws passed in September. They have remained despite heavy rains and waterlogging at protest sites in recent days, in addition to the severe cold weather conditions prevailing in and around the national capital.
Last month, the government sent a draft proposal to protesting farmers’ unions, suggesting some amendments to the new laws and a written guarantee on the MSP’s procurement system. The government has ruled out repealing the three farm laws.