Farmers-Govt Talks: No Decision in 8th Round, Next Meet on 15 Jan
Agriculture Minister Tomar had said on Thursday that the government will not discuss repealing the three farm laws.
The eighth round of talks between the Centre and farm leaders, over the contentious farm laws, at Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan ended on Friday, 8 January. The next round of talks between the two will be held on 15 January, ANI reported.
Addressing the media after the meeting on Friday, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh said that the 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, they would consider it. But no option could be presented, so the meeting was concluded and it was decided that the next meeting would be held on 15 January,” Tomar said, according to ANI.
Tomar added that while those supporting the protest are of the view that the laws be repealed, there are many others who support the laws as well.
Won’t Relent Till Laws Repealed: Farmers
Speaking at the end of the meeting, Rakesh Tikait, spokesperson, Bharatiya Kisan Union reiterated the demand for the repeal and stated that farmers would not accept anything less.
“Farmers won't relent before the laws are repealed. We'll come on 15 January again. We're not going anywhere. The government wanted to talk about amendments. We don't wish to have clause-wise discussions. We simply want a repeal of the new farm laws,” Tikait said.
Meanwhile, Hannan Mollah, General Secretary, All India Kisan Sabha, said that there was a heated discussion at the meeting, where the farmers reiterated that they don't want anything other than the repeal of laws.
“We won’t go to any court, this (repeal) will either be done or we’ll continue to fight. Our parade on 26 January will go on as planned,” Mollah said, reported ANI.
According to a PTI report, Mollah said that farmers are ready to fight till death and that farmer unions would decide the next course of action on 11 January.
Farmer leader Joginder Singh Ugrahan told PTI that the government was testing the strength of the farmers but they would not bow down. “It seems we'll spend Lohri, Baisakhi festivals here,” he said.
Govt Ready to Consider Any Proposal Apart From Repeal: Tomar
Even as farm leaders remained hopeful of a positive outcome on Friday, ahead of the talks on Thursday, Tomar hinted that the government will not discuss the matter of repealing the three farm laws, a key demand of the protesting farmers.
According to NDTV, Tomar said that the government is ready to consider any proposal other than the repeal of the farm laws.
“I am hopeful that talks will be held in a positive atmosphere and a solution will be found. During discussions, each side has to take steps to reach a solution,” Tomar told the media before leaving for Vigyan Bhavan on Friday.
“A solution will be found when clause by clause talks are held with farmers. Government of India is ready to make amendments in the laws. We are hopeful of resolution,” MoS Agriculture Kailash Choudhary told ANI earlier on Friday.
‘Hope for Best’: Farmers Ahead of Meet
“The minister yesterday categorically declared that the repeal of farm laws is not accepted. I don’t know what will happen during the discussions today. Anyway, we hope for the best and prepare for the worst,” Hannan Mollah, General Secretary, All India Kisan Sabha was quoted by ANI as saying.
Rakesh Tikait, spokesperson of Bharatiya Kisan Union, said that the leaders are going for talks with the hope that there will be a resolution today.
The seventh round of talks between the Centre and the farmers’ unions led to the government agreeing to two out of the four key demands, but the issues of MSP and complete rollback of the laws remain unresolved.
“Discussion took place on our demands – repeal of the three laws and MSP... Kanoon wapasi nahi, toh ghar wapsi nahi (We will not go home until the laws are withdrawn),” Rakesh Tikait, spokesperson of Bharatiya Kisan Union had told ANI after the conclusion of talks on 4 January.
The farmers on Friday held tractor rallies on four routes at the Delhi border and said that it was a “rehearsal for the Republic Day parade on 26 January”.
Speaking to The Quint, Tikait said at the tractor rally on Thursday: “We have made plans till May 2024… We are prepared till then. We are ready to hold our ground till 2024. It will take a year or two, but the government will relent before 2024.”
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