NEW DELHI, Dec 5 - The government on Saturday proposed another meeting on December 9 with representatives of protesting farmers, as their fifth round of talks ended in a deadlock with the farmers� group going on a maun vrat (vow of silence) seeking a clear �yes or no� answer to their demand of repealing three farm laws. Sources said the government proposed another round of meeting on December 9 as it sought some time from the unions to present a concrete proposal after further consultations within the government.
The Agriculture Ministry later tweeted that the fifth round of talks has ended. Union leaders said they do not want anything less than the complete repeal of the laws, which they claim are meant to end the mandi system and minimum support price procurement system to give for benefits of corporates. During the meeting, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar appealed to the union leaders to send back the elderly, women and children to their homes from the protest sites. He said procurement of agricultural produce at minimum support price will continue and the mandis will be strengthened.
�We wanted some firm suggestions from farmer leaders, but couldn�t get those. We will meet again on December 9,� Tomar later said. �I want to assure farmers that the Narendra Modi government remains committed to farmers� interests and will remain so,� he said.
The minister also thanked the farmer unions for maintaining discipline in their agitation. �We are hopeful of resolution with their cooperation,� he added.
Thousands of farmers are protesting on various borders of the national capital since November 26, seeking repeal of three farm laws enacted in September.
As their meeting with three Union ministers, including Tomar, Piyush Goyal and Som Parkash, continued for more than four hours, farmer leaders told the government to reply in �black and white� that whether it will repeal the laws or not.
Some farmer leaders present in the meeting were seen putting finger on their lips and holding a paper with �Yes or No� written on that.
During a break earlier in the day, the farmers� group decided to have their own food and tea, as they did on Thursday during the fourth round of talks. � PTI