51 days and counting: Ninth round of talks between Centre and farmers' unions fails to end deadlock

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the next round of talks between the two sides will take place on January 19
Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Narendra Singh Tomar and Som Prakash talking to reporters
Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Narendra Singh Tomar and Som Prakash talking to reportersFile photo

The deadlock over the farm laws continues as the ninth round of talks between the farmers’ union leaders and central government on Friday has failed to make progress. The meeting took place in Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi. The next round of talks between the two sides will take place on January 19.

After the meeting, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar flanked by Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Som Prakash, informed that the Centre is positive in reaching a solution. “The talks with the Unions were not decisive today. We will hold talks again on January 19. We (Centre) are positive to reach a solution through talks,” Tomar said during a press conference. He added that the Centre is concerned about the farmers protesting in cold conditions.

Tomar also said that when asked, the Centre will present its side before the Supreme Court-appointed committee. However, the Farmers Union made it clear that they will not appear before any committee. “Our demand of repealing three farm laws and Minimum Support Price (MSP) guarantee remains. We will not appear before the SC appointed committee,” Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait said, adding that the farmers’ union leaders will only talk to the government.

Meanwhile, Tomar slammed former Congress president and MP Rahul Gandhi, saying that the Congress promised to bring the farm reform in their 2019 election manifesto. “I would like to tell Rahul that in their 2019 election manifesto, Congress had promised that they would bring this reform. If he does not remember, then he should go through the manifesto again,” Tomar said, adding that Rahul and Sonia Gandhi must admit their lies if the Congress manifesto mentions the reform.

During the Congress party's protest supporting the farmers in Delhi, Rahul said that the Centre made the three farm laws to finish the farmers. “These laws are not made to help farmers but to finish them. The laws were introduced to help corporates like Ambani and Adani instead," he said, adding that the Congress party are standing in favour of the farmers.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at various border points of Delhi for 51 days against the three farm laws.

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