The meeting between the government and the protesting farmers remained inconclusive on Tuesday. Further discussion between the protesting farmers’ unions and the government will resume on December 3.
Notably, the Union government, during the meeting on Tuesday, proposed to form a committee to delve into the various issues raised by the farmers against the newly enacted farm laws. The meeting was attended by representatives of 35 farmers’ unions. Three Union ministers and senior bureaucrats were present in the meeting.
The ministers who led the government’s side in discussions include Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar, railways and commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal and minister of state for commerce Som Parkash. Prakash is also an MP from Punjab.
Farmers seeking repeal of the new farm laws
All farmers’ representatives were unanimous in seeking repeal of the three laws that they have been terming as being against the interest of the farm community.
“The farmer’s organisations rejected the government’s proposal to form a five-member committee to look into the issues related to the new farm laws,” Roopsingh Sanha, member of Bharat Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) said.
However, according to sources, the government is firm on its stand that a high-level committee must be formed to look into the issues and wanted the farmer representatives to further consider the proposal.
Ministers want to small group of representatives
Sources said the ministers were of the view that it was difficult to reach a decision while interacting with such large groups and therefore they suggested meeting with a smaller group, but farmer leaders were firm that they would only meet collectively.
Union leaders said they feared the government might be trying to break their unity and the momentum of their protest.
The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the Centre’s farm laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.
The government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.
Sixth day of farmers’ protest
Notably, the farmers’ protest in India entered the sixth day on Tuesday. Thousands of farmers from various states are camping at Delhi border. They are adamant to stage a protest against the Centre’s farm laws at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, whereas the Centre wants them to shift to Burari grounds on the outskirts of the national capital.The Centre’s strategy to ask the farmers to shift to Burari for initiating talks has failed miserably.
Meanwhile, both Singhu border and Tikri border have been closed for traffic as the huge gathering of farmers continue to camp on the highway after not being allowed to enter Delhi with their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march against the Centre’s farm laws.
Despite the massive protest by farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to hail the new farm laws as game-changers.
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