Farmers-Centre talks remain inconclusive; next meeting on Jan 8
New Delhi: The crucial seventh round of talks between the government and 41 farmers representatives ended without any breakthrough and the next round of talks is expected on January 8, sources said.
The meeting had started around 2.30 p.m. at Vigyan Bhavan in the presence of Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal and Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Parkash.
Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal and other Ministry officials are also attended the meeting.
Since the sixth round of talks held at the same location on December 30 ended on a positive note with the government agreeing on two points, the government will try to persuade the farmers to end their agitation by adopting a middle path or forming a committee to resolve the issue.
Krantikari Kisan Union President (Punjab) Darshan Pal, Bharatiya Kisan Union’s Jagjeet Singh Dalewal and Balbir Singh Rajewal, Jamhuri Kishan Sabha Punjab General Secretary Kulwant Singh, and Bharatiya Kisan Union (Uttar Pradesh) President Rakesh Tikait are among the 41 farm union leaders participating in the meeting.
The agitating farmers have already announced they will take out a tractor rally towards Delhi on Republic Day, besides a series of programmes in a bid to intensify their protest if their demands to withdraw the three contentious farm laws enacted in September and a written assurance on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) are not met.
Modalities for the repeal of the three Central farm acts and putting the mechanisms for a remunerative MSP as recommended by the National Farmers’ Commission into a legally guaranteed entitlement for all farmers and all agricultural commodities is the major agenda of the meeting.
In the sixth round of talks the government agreed to the farmers demand to exclude them from the penal provisions of the ‘Commission for the Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2020’ and changes in the draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020 to protect the interests of farmers.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh have been protesting at the borders of the national capital demanding the repeal of the three farm laws, among other issues.