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Will Resume Talks on Farm Laws When Farmers’ Respond: Agri Min

“Even today, whenever their response comes, the government is ready to hold talks,” Narendra Singh Tomar said.

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File image of Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
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Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Wednesday, 23 February, said that the government will resume talks with protesting farmers if they provide a response to the Centre’s offer to put the three farm laws on hold for one-and-a-half year and work through their differences in that time through a joint committee, PTI reported.

“The government has been holding discussions with farmers sympathetically. Even today, whenever their response comes, the government is always ready to hold talks,” Tomar said, as per PTI.

The farmer unions have been camping outside the national capital’s border for over 90 days in protest against the BJP government’s three contentious farm laws and have held 11 rounds of talks with the government so far.

After violence broke out in several parts of Delhi during the farmers tractor rally on 26 January, the talks between the government and unions ceased.

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait had said on Tuesday that if the Centre does not revoke the three farm laws, the protesting farmers will gherao the Parliament. He further added that the tractor rally violence was to malign the farmer’s movement saying, “The farmers of the country love the tricolour, but not the leaders of this country.”

While answering a question on Tikait’s remarks from the sidelines of an event in New Delhi, Tomar maintained that the government is committed towards the farmers’ interest and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leading an effort to double farmers’ income.

On 22 January, after the last round of talks, the farmer bodies had firmly rejected the Centre’s proposal.

Farmer unions believe that the three farm ordinances will end the mandi and MSP procurement systems, leaving the farmers at the mercy of big corporates who will hoard their produce. The government has maintained that these apprehensions are misplaced.

The Supreme Court on 11 January had ordered a stay on the implementation of the laws and appointed a four-member panel to resolve the deadlock.

(With inputs from PTI)

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