Farmers' Protest: 9th round of govt-farmer talks concludes, next meet on Jan 19
New Delhi, Jan 15: The ninth round of talks between farmer unions and three union ministers on Friday ended with stalemate over new agricultural laws. The two sides will meet again on January 19.
Farmers union and three central ministers on Friday committed to continue holding direct talks to resolve the over-one-month-long deadlock over three agri laws, with Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar urging farmer leaders to be flexible in their approach as has been done by the government.
Speaking to the media, Congress leader Bhupinder Hooda said that they would force the BJP-led central government to repeal the farm laws. The Congress is observing the day as Kisan Adhikar Diwas in support of the rights of farmers who have been protesting against the Centre's three farm laws. The party is also protesting against hike in fuel prices.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at various border points of Delhi for over a month now against the three laws.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had stayed the implementation of three farm laws till further orders. It had also announced the formation of a committee to hear the grievances of the farmers and the opinion of the government.
Bhartiya Kisan Union president Bhupinder Singh Mann, Shetkari Sanghatana Maharashtra president Anil Ghanwat, International Food Policy Research Institute's Pramod Kumar Joshi and agriculture economist Ashok Gulati were appointed on the panel. However, Mann, on Thursday recused himself from the four-member committee.
It can be seen that the Supreme Court-appointed panel on farm laws is likely to hold its first meeting on January 19.
The protesting farmer leaders, meanwhile, said they will attend the ninth round of talks with the government amid indication that it may be last such meeting with the Centre, but added that they don't have much hope as they will not settle for anything less than the repeal of the contentious farm laws.
Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) Joginder Singh Ugrahan said, "We are going to hold talks with the government on Friday. We don't have much hope from the Friday meeting as the government will cite the SC-appointed panel. The government doesn't have good intention to resolve our issues."