Fifth round of talks between farmers’ leaders and govt fails, next meeting on December 9

While the government categorically refused to repeal the contentious farm laws during the talks, the farmers’ leaders refused to accept anything less than that

Farmers Union leaders at Vigyan Bhawan (NH Photo by Vipin)
Farmers Union leaders at Vigyan Bhawan (NH Photo by Vipin)
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NH Political Bureau

The fifth round of talks between the Modi government and representatives of thousands of farmers agitating in Delhi failed to yield any result on Saturday, with both sides again refusing to budge from their stand.

According to sources, while the government categorically refused to repeal the contentious farm laws during the talks, the farmers’ leaders refused to accept anything less than that. The government, as per sources, said that it was ready to bring amendments to the laws.

The farmers’ leaders, after emerging from the four-hour-long meeting, told the media that the government had sought more time for considering their demands and proposed another round of talks on December 9.

Fifth round of talks between farmers’ leaders and govt fails, next meeting on December 9

When asked whether they will join this next round of talks, they said they will.

“Govt will prepare a draft and give it to us. They said that they will consult the states too. Discussions were held on MSP too but we said that we should also take up the laws and talk about their rollback. The Bharat Bandh (on 8th Dec) will go on as announced,” said Rakesh Tikait of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) after the meeting.

A section of farmers’ leaders, however, seem convinced that the Modi government was not willing to resolve the issue.

“The government already knows what our demands and objections are. We have given them the same in writing also. What else do they want to talk about?” said a leader who was part of the delegation of representatives of 35 farmers’ organizations.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar reiterated, “We have said that the MSP will continue, there is no threat to it. It is baseless to doubt this. Still, if someone is suspicious then the government is ready to resolve it. ”

“I would not like to comment on the program of the unions. But I would like to urge farmers and the unions to leave the path of agitation and come to the path of discussion. Govt has had several rounds of talks with them and is ready for further discussion for a solution,” added Tomar.

A few hours before the talk concluded, farmers’ leaders went on a maun vrat (vow of silence), asking the government to answer in “yes or no” on their demand of repealing the controversial farm laws. Photographs of farm leaders writing ‘yes/no’ on the notepad given to them to jot down minutes of the meeting were seen circulating in the social media.

As their meeting with three Union ministers, including Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, continued, the farmers’ leaders told the government to reply in “black and white” whether it will repeal the laws or not, reported the PTI.

Fifth round of talks between farmers’ leaders and govt fails, next meeting on December 9

Earlier in the day, an audio clip was shared by the farmers’ leaders in which heated arguments between them and the govt panel can be heard. In the clip, a farmers’ leader can be heard arguing with the Agricultural Minister, saying, “Chairman sir, humane saaf bata diya hai ki is kanoon me A to Z kharab hai. Cosmetic change karke iska character change nahi hota.” (The farm laws are completely flawed; cosmetic changes won’t change them)

Agriculture Minister Tomar can be heard replying, “Aisa nahi hota...aisa nahi hota...” (It doesn’t work like that)

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Published: 05 Dec 2020, 8:32 PM
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