No problems in the farm laws, said Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, as the 11th round of discussion between the government and the protesting farmers’ unions hit a roadblock on Friday.
With both the sides hardening their stands, they could not even reach a decision on the date of next meeting. The Agriculture Minister said there were no problems in the farm laws. But the government still offered to suspend them as a sign of respect for farmers, he added.
At the end of the 11th meeting to break the deadlock over the laws, Tomar thanked the protesting farmer unions for cooperation. He told them that the government was ready for another meeting if they want to discuss proposal on suspending laws.
Meanwhile, the farmer leaders alleged, even as the meeting lasted for nearly five hours, the two sides sat face-to-face for less than 30 minutes.
Insult to farmers
“The minister made us wait for three & a half hours. This is an insult to farmers. When he came, he asked us to consider the government’s proposal. And, he said that he was ending the process of meetings,” said SS Pandher of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee. He said that the agitation will continue peacefully.
In their 11th meeting the farmer unions Friday told the government they want a complete repeal of the legislations. Meanwhile the Centre asked them to reconsider its proposal for putting the Acts on hold for 12-18 months.
“We told the government that we will not agree to anything other than the repeal of the laws. But the minister asked us to discuss separately again, and rethink on the matter and convey the decision,” farmer leader Darshan Pal told PTI during a break after the first session of their meet.
During their previous meeting, farmer unions had rejected the Centre’s proposal to keep the laws in abeyance for 18 months. They reiterated their demand for repeal of the laws. However, sources said, nearly half the farm leaders were in favour of accepting the offer.