The eighth round of talks between the government and representatives of protesting unions ended without any outcome on Friday and the next meeting is likely to take place on January 15, sources said.
Sticking to their key demand of the repeal of three farm laws to end their protest, farmer leaders told the government their ghar wapsi from protest sites on Delhi borders can happen only after “law wapsi” but the Centre insisted talks must be limited to contentious clauses and ruled out a complete withdrawal of Acts.
Sources said not much discussions could take place at the meeting and the next date has been decided after keeping in mind a scheduled hearing of Supreme Court on January 11. The government sources said the apex court may look into the legality of the three laws, besides other issues related to farmers’ protests.
At the eighth round of negotiations with the 41-member representative group of protesting farmers, the government ruled out the repeal of the laws, while asserting that these reforms have been welcomed by a large section of farmers in various states and asked the unions to think about the interests of the entire country.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Railways, Commerce and Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash, who is an MP from Punjab, have been holding talks with unions at Vigyan Bhawan in the heart of the national capital, while thousands of farmers have stayed put at various Delhi borders to protest against the three laws they find pro-corporate and against the existing mandi and MSP procurement systems.
At the outset, Tomar appealed to unions for discussions on the laws, while farm leaders reiterated their demand that the new Acts must be withdrawn, sources said, adding that the Agriculture Minister stressed on protecting the farmers’ interest of the entire country.
All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) member Kavitha Kuruganti, who was also present in the meeting, said the government has told unions that it can not and will not repeal these laws. – PTI