The eighth round of talks between the farmers' unions and the central government at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on Friday has yet again resulted in a stalemate. The farmers are continuing to stick to their demand for repealing their three farm laws. Both sides decided that the next round of talks will take place on January 15.
All India Kisan Sabha general secretary Hannan Mollah made it clear that the farmers will continue protesting until the government repeals the three laws. “We told them we don’t want anything other than repealing of the laws,” Mollah said. He continues, “We will not go to any Court. Either the laws should be repealed or we will continue to protest.” He also added that the January 26, tractor parade will take place as per plan.
Bharatiya Kisan Union’s Rakesh Tikait also echoed Mollah’s sentiments. “We (farmers) will not relent until the Centre repeals the three farm laws. We will come on January 15 for talks. We are not going anywhere,” he said, adding, that the government wanted to talk about amendments to the laws but the farmers do not want to have such discussions. “We simply want the laws to be repealed,” he said.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Union Minister Piyush Goyal were representing on behalf of the government. After the meeting, Tomar said, “The three farm laws were discussed during the meeting. We have asked the farmers to give an alternate option other than repealing the three laws. But no options were put forward. So, the meeting was brought to an end. The next meeting will be held on January 15.”
Tomar added that many farmers are supporting the laws. “We are continuously talking to the farmers' unions who want the laws repealed. But we also have farmers who are supporting the laws and are giving appointment them whenever they are requesting us,” Tomar said.
According to sources, the discussion between the farmers' unions and the central government became heated as an argument broke out regarding the dates for the next talks. The farmers made it clear to the government that they were “not coming here to take dates” from the government. The farmers have seemed to run out patience. It has been reported that during the meeting, when the government representatives asked for a break for snacks, the farmers put their foot down and said that they haven’t come here for tea and snacks. Instead, they want answers to the questions put before the central government.