The ninth round of discussion between the agitating farmers and the government on Friday remained inconclusive. The next round of talks is likely to be held on January 19.
Notably, January 19 is the day that the Supreme Court had fixed for the committee formed by it to start the stakeholder consultation process. However, the farmers have outright rejected the committee saying the members selected in the committee have already expressed their support for the farm laws.
Leaders of the 40 farmers’ unions negotiating with the Centre have said they want continued direct communication with the government, not through brokers. They maintain they will not appear before the panel adding that the appointed members were already in favour of the farm laws. The government has agreed to continue with direct talks, but said that if they want they can go to the SC committee as well. One of the panel members has already recused himself.
Cordial discussion with farmers, says Tomar
After the meeting with farmers’ representatives, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, “Cordial discussion on farm laws took place. Piyush Goyal tried to allay the fears of unions, but no conclusive end. Government and farm unions have decided to meet again on January 19.”
“We hope discussions would continue. Government has offered that the farmers can form an informal group among themselves and submit a proposal on what they want. Government has been trying to identity apprehensions and has submitted a proposal which unions did not accept,” he added.
Farmers not taking a step forward
During the meeting, Tomar told the farmers that while the government has accepted most of their demands, it is the farmers who are stuck and are not moving ahead to end the stalemate over farm laws.
The minister said, “I do not want to say it but the farmers have been telling media persons that we are firm on farm laws. But, we have accepted most of your demands. Farmers are not even taking a step forward.”
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has suspended the farm laws for the time being and criticised the government for its handling of the farmers’ protest.
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