NEW DELHI: The more than three-hour-long dialogue between a group of more than 32 farmer union leaders and the government remained inconclusive on Tuesday. The fourth round of talks will be held on Thursday.
The farmers declared that they will continue their protest and the agitation will be strengthened day by day until they do not get a solution to their demands from the government.
Farmer leaders, however, said the meeting was peaceful but the government was not ready to repeal its three farm laws, and proposed to form a committee to study and clarify law-related misconceptions to resolve the ongoing deadlock.
Some of the farmers raised the issue that Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh were not present in the meeting despite the government’s promise that they will be part of the discussions.
At the end of meeting, which began at Vigyan Bhawan in Central Delhi, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said “The third round of meeting has ended and the fourth round of meeting will be held on Thursday (December 3).” December 3 is also the date that was earlier decided by the government to hold talks with farmers.
Bharatiya Kisan Union General Secretary (Punjab), Balwant Singh told IANS: “The meeting was inconclusive”.
Punjab Kisan Sangathan Treasurer Karnal Singh told IANS that “The protest will continue until the farmers’ demands are not met”.
“However, the talks with the government would continue,” Karnal Singh said.
The government’s proposal to form a committee to study the three contentious farms laws was rejected by the farmer unions during the ongoing talks called by the Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday to resolve the issues of agitating farmers.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Roop Singh Sanna told IANS that the government proposed to form a committee to study and discuss issues related to the three farm laws enacted in September during the Monsoon Session of Parliament.
The leader said the government had offered to select four-five members from farmers’ association to form the committee in which there will be some government members.
He said that all the “union leaders unanimously rejected” government’s offer.
“Forming a committee is an attempt to postpone the issue. We are not ready to accept the government’s offer,” said Sanna.
The government is holding on to its stance of not rolling back the three farm laws which farmers allege are “anti-farm” and “black laws”: The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
The information comes from the meeting led by Agriculture Minister Tomar and Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, in presence of more than 32 farmer union leaders on the sixth day of the ongoing farmers’ protest. The meeting started at Vigyan Bhawan around 3.30 p.m.
The meeting was also attended by Union Minister of State for Commerce Som Prakash and Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh have been protesting at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders.