Farmers’ Protest: In their eighth attempt to end the logjam over the three farm laws, ministers representing the central government and 41 farm union leaders held talks in Delhi on Monday. Two key demands of the farmers were tabled for consideration by the government- the repeal of the three agriculture laws and giving legal status to the minimum support price guarantee.
The government remained firm on its stand on farm laws as it refused to take back contentious farm laws. Instead, the union minister asked the union leaders to point out what they considered objectionable in the legislation.
Farmers remained adamant on their demand to abrogate the farmer laws, while the Centre looked for a common point for discussion to end the deadlock. The next round of talks will be held on January 8.
Will continue to protest till demands are met: Farmers
After the meeting concluded farmer Unions representatives spoke to the media and said that they won’t end their protest until their demands are met and the Farm laws are repealed.
Discussion took place on our demands — repeal of the three laws and MSP… Kannon wapasi nahi, to ghar wapasi nahi (We will not go home until the laws are withdrawn): Rakesh Tikait, Spokesperson of Bharatiya Kisan Union https://t.co/opDKdxyX1D pic.twitter.com/8v4qzbUX7B
— ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2021
” Govt is under tremendous pressure. We all said that this is our demand (repeal of the laws). We don’t want discussion on any other topic except for on repeal of the laws. Protests will not be withdrawn until the repeal of laws, ” Hannan Mollah, General Secretary, All India Kisan Sabha.
Will come to a conclusion in next meet: Tomar
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that he is hopeful for a conclusion in the next meet which is to be held on January 8th.
“We wanted farmer unions to discuss three laws clause-wise. We could not reach any solution as farmer union remained adamant on the repeal of the laws”, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar
Looking at today’s discussion, I hope that we will have a meaningful discussion during our next meeting and we will come to a conclusion: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar https://t.co/qI6PmeHM07
— ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2021
Three union ministers including Narendra Singh Tomar, Piyush Goyal, and Som Parkash were present at Vigyan Bhawan for the talks. Farmers were being represented by a team of 41 union leaders.
This was the 8th round of talks between the centre and the protesting farmers. Farmers and their protesting unions have been on the table with the Agriculture Minister led panel seven times (including today’s meet), while Amit Shah had met a smaller delegation of farmers registering their concerns.
The meeting began with a two-minute silence for those who have died in the agitation, the Union Agriculture Ministry said.
Key border points in Delhi remained closed because of the protests. On Sunday, the farmers took shelter under tents as rain hit the Capital and its surrounding areas.
Tens of thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping at Delhi’s borders for over a month in the biting cold. The protestors say the laws will dismantle regulated markets, and hurt their livelihoods by making them vulnerable to big corporations.
Farmers to intensify the protest if deadlock doesn’t end
Ahead of talks Punjab’s farm unions said they would burn copies of the three contentious farm laws on Lohri (January 13) and celebrate January 23—Netaji Subhas Chander Bose’s birth anniversary—as ‘Azad Kisan Diwas’.
Upping the ante, Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the platform of farm unions, has said that thousands of farmers will drive into the Capital on their tractors to hold their own Republic Day parade if their demands are not met by January 26. The Republic Day – an event of global importance – is scheduled to be attended by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.