Deadlock after 5 rounds of talks, farmers and government to meet again on Wednesday

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Women are equally represented in the farmers’ protest. Here a scene at Singhu border, Delhi – Photo: Harpreet Singh
By Asia Samachar Team | INDAI |

India’s government failed on Saturday (Dec 6) to break a deadlock with farmers protesting over agricultural reforms and will meet again on Wednesday, the agriculture minister and union leaders said.

Thousands of Indian farmers have demonstrated against the laws, which they say threaten their livelihoods, by camping on the outskirts of the capital New Delhi and blocking highways, reports Reuters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government says the new laws are meant to overhaul antiquated procurement procedures and give growers more options to sell their produce.

“Farmers made it clear to the ministers that they want the government to repeal the laws,” the news agency quoted Jagjit Singh Dhalewal, a senior farmers’ leader, after five hours of talks on Saturday.

Agriculture and farmers’ welfare minister Narendra Singh Tomar told reporters that talks will resume on Wednesday, adding the government is committed to farmers’ welfare and is keen to examine and consider the issues raised.

The government asked for some more time to present a concrete proposal, says Kavitha Kuruganti of Mahila Kisan Adhikar Manch, one of the 40 unions invited for the talks with Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Piyush Goyal and Som Prakash on the contentious farm Acts.

“Ministers said they need further consultations within the government for that and proposed December 9 as the date for next meeting to which union leaders agreed,” he as quoted in a Tribune News Service report.

Earlier, seeking to break the deadlock over protests against the new farm laws, the government on Saturday told representatives of agitating farmers that their concerns are being looked into but the union leaders stuck to their demand for repeal of the legislations and threatened to walk out of the talks, according to the report.

In an earlier report, PTI quoted Bharatiya Kisan Union general secretary Harinder Singh Lakhwal as saying: “In our meeting today [Friday], we have decided to give a ‘Bharat Bandh’ call on December 8 during which we will also occupy all toll plazas.”

Panjab farmers are prepared for a long-drawn protest. protest. A scene at Singhu border, Delhi – Photo: Harpreet Singh
Indian farmer representatives in meeting with government ministers on 5 Dec 2020 – Photo: Twitter of Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare
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