The eleventh round of talks between protesting farmers unions and three central ministers which was underway to break the nearly two-month-long deadlock on the three new farm laws once again remained inconclusive. The ministers reportedly walked out of the meeting as the farmers remained unresponsive.
ANI quoted the National President of Rashtriya Kisan Mazdur, Shiv Kumar Kakka as saying: “Before the lunch break, farmer leaders reiterated their demand for the repeal of the farm laws & govt said they are ready for amendments. The minister asked us to consider govt’s proposal & we asked him to consider ours. After that, the minister left the meeting”.
Before the lunch break, farmer leaders reiterated their demand for the repeal of the farm laws & govt said they are ready for amendments. The minister asked us to consider govt’s proposal & we asked him to consider ours. After that, the minister left the meeting: Shiv Kumar Kakka https://t.co/y02jfzBzI4 pic.twitter.com/y5yrOZ8prA— ANI (@ANI) January 22, 2021
Speaking to media after the 11th round of discussions, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the central government has until now participated in 45 hours of discussion on the new farm laws with the farmer unions, however, no consensus has been reached until now.
Tomar said that while implementing the new agricultural laws the government aimed at providing maximum benefits to the farmers of India which included maximum returns on their produce, new and improvised technologies for farming, axing the role of mediators to enable farmers to sell their produce to Pvt firms to get maximum profit, etc. The new laws are progressive and also futuristic and would benefit the Indian farmers. However, the farmers mainly from Punjab and a handful from other few districts have been brainwashed into believing that the new farm laws are not in their interest, said Tomar, furthering the political opponents have used these ignorant farmers as pawns to play petty politics.
He furthered that the Modi Govt has always been compassionate towards the farmer of the country. The govt has tried hard and held 11 rounds of talks. We have tried to put forward umpteen suggestions and reach an amicable solution to this impasse, however, the farmers remain unyielded. Tomar insinuated that the farmers’ protest is not about the farmers anymore but has been transformed into an anti-India protest by Modi-detractors who want to create a negative image of India and Narendra Modi around the world.
Meanwhile, Rakesh Tikait, Spokesperson, Bhartiya Kisan Union said that during the meeting the government representatives offered to put the implementation of the farm laws on hold for two years and said that the next round of meeting can take place only if farmer unions are ready to accept the proposal.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Railways, Commerce and Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash have been representing the central government during the talks with the representatives of 41 farmer unions.
It is pertinent to note here that the Modi government has been relentlessly trying to resolve the impasse. In fact, in the last round of meeting held on Wednesday, the government offered to put on hold the three laws for 12-18 months and also set up a joint committee to resolve the issue, following the apex court’s order.
However, the farmer unions on Thursday rejected the central government’s proposal and remained hellbent on their demands primarily repealing of three farm laws, which are actually in favour of the farmers and providing a legal guarantee of the minimum support price (MSP).
Meanwhile, the farmer unions are hellbent on taking out a tractor rally on January 26th in order to pressurise the central government into yielding to their unjustified demands. The Delhi police have, however, clarified that the purported rally will be allowed only on a curated route, with a limited number of tractors and participants that too under the supervision of the police.