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Farmers Protest: Demonstrators stay put amid severe cold in Delhi

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New Delhi, Jan 02: Hundreds of farmers, who are dug in their heels at protest venues outside several Delhi gateways, undeterred by the biting cold and firm in their resolve to not return home till their demands are met, as the New Year dawned with the minimum temperature dipping to 1.1 degrees Celsius.

cold

On Wednesday, the government and the farm unions had reached some common ground to resolve the protesting farmers' concerns over the rise in power tariff and penalties for stubble burning, but the two sides remained deadlocked over the main contentious issues of the repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee for MSP.

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It can be seen that after the sixth round of negotiations between three union ministers and a 41-member representative group of thousands of farmers protesting on Delhi borders, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had said at least 50 per cent resolution has been reached with mutual agreement on two out of four items on the agenda and discussions would continue on the remaining two on January 4.

Meanwhile, security remained tight at Delhi borders with hundreds of personnel deployed at Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri border points, where the farmers have been camping for more than a month now.

On Friday, the city recorded a minimum temperature of 1.1 degrees Celsius, the lowest in 15 years for the month of January.

Meanwhile, the Samkyukt Kisan Morcha is likely to meet during the day to discuss its next course of action.

There is, however, no question of withdrawing from the two issues which are a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP) and repealing of the farm laws, senior farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni has said.

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"The government has addressed our demands to drop penal provisions against farmers in an ordinance relating to stubble burning and to put on hold a proposed electricity amendment law," he said.

"But, we want to make it clear that there is no alternative to our two remaining demands which include repeal of the three agriculture laws and legal guarantee for MSP," Chaduni added.

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    The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, one of the protesting farm unions, has issued a statement saying the Centre's appeal to farmer leaders to suggest an alternative to repeal of the laws is impossible.

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