Discussion held on Friday between the protesting farmers and the Centre remained inconclusive. It was the eighth round of discussion between the two parties ever since the farmers started protests against the contentious farm laws passed by the Centre.
Sources said that the Union government clarified to the farmers’ representatives that the farm laws are meant for the entire country and are not confined to just Punjab and Haryana. The farmers’ representatives said that the states should be allowed to bring their own legislation. They said their ghar wapsi can only happen if the government opts for a law wapsi.
After the meeting, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, “Discussion on the laws was taken up but no decision could be made. The government urged that if farmer unions give an option other than repealing, we’ll consider it. But no option could be presented, so the meeting was concluded and it was decided to hold the next meeting on January 15.”
Centre wasting time, says farmer leader
According to sources, farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal told the government in the meeting that it did not have the right to interfere in the agriculture sector. “You don’t intend to resolve the issue. Why waste time? Let us know when you can give your word on repealing of laws and we’ll end agitation,” he was quoted by sources as saying.
The government has proposed to form an informal group with members from both sides. The informal group will be tasked to suggest acceptable points. However, the suggestions would not be binding. The government has also proposed that it will urge the Supreme Court to hold daily hearings in the matter to speed up the verdict.
Thousands of farmers are protesting against the Centre’s farm laws and are lodged at Delhi’s borders. Multiple rounds of talks between the Union government and the farmers have failed to resolve the issues.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leaders have hailed the farm laws as “historic” and attacked the Opposition for misleading the farmers.
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