Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Thursday, 14 January, said that farmers' unions would attend the scheduled ninth round of talks with the Central government, and that dialogue was necessary to end the nationwide farmers' agitation, news agency PTI reported.
The meeting, with the Union ministers, is scheduled for Friday.
When asked if the farmers will refuse to hold any further talks if the ninth round of talks fails, Tikait said that they "will not oppose talks with the government".
"Let's see what happens tomorrow. But our meetings will continue with the government till our protest ends as it is necessary,” Tikait was quoted as saying.
While the previous eight rounds of talks have failed to break the deadlock over the three contentious laws between the government and farmers, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday said that he was hopeful that Friday’s talks would yield a positive result.
"The government is ready to hold talks with farmers' leaders, as scheduled on 15 January, with an open mind", Tomar reportedly said.
The remarks come as the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of the three laws and formed a four-member committee to look into the grievances of the farmers. One of the members, Bhupinder Singh Mann – the National President of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Mann) and Chairman of the All India Kisan Coordination Committee – on Thursday recused himself from the four-member panel.
(With inputs from PTI)