Talks in logjam as Indian government not ready to withdraw controversial farm bills

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Farmers-ministers meeting on 4 Jan 2021 – Source: Farmers’ leaders
By Asia Samachar Team | INDIA |

The latest round of meeting between farmers’ unions and Indian federal government minister ended inconclusively today (4 Jan 2020) as the latter refused to withdraw the three controversial farm bills.

The next meeting has been scheduled for Friday (8 Jan), but the farmers’ union will possibly huddle tomorrow to decide if they will attend.

The unions made it clear that the government has to come up with modalities to repeal the three laws rammed through Parliament in September 2020 to allow for any meaningful negotiation.

In today’s meeting, the government side wanted to discuss a law for minimum support price (MSP), one of the demands of the farmers, but the farmer representatives declined as they wanted to discuss first repealing the three laws.

“Farmers spoke only about repeal. Government said they will consult further and get back. The next meeting on January 8,” said union leaders in the meeting, reported The Tribune.

In one report, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait was reported to have said: “Union ministers are saying the same thing again and again. We will hold a meeting tomorrow to decide our course . We will not go home, till the time the laws are repealed.”

The farmers’ protest at a number of entry points to Delhi will now enter into the 40th day. Hundreds of thousands of farmers have converged at at borders points at Shahjahanpur, Palwal, Tikri, Ghazipur and Singhu, all of which have seen an increased Rapid Action Force (RAF) deployment.

While a huge number of farmers are already present at the outskirts of Delhi, the authorities have tried to stop more farmers from advancing to the nation’s capital.

It has been reported that at least 110 tear gas shells were fired on farmers last night at Delhi-Jaipur highway, injuring farmers who were rushed to nearest hospitals.

 

RELATED STORY:

Year 2021: Crucial Year for Panjab and Indian Farmers (Asia Samachar, 4 Jan 2021)

 

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