New Delhi: The seventh round of talks of farmers with the Central government on Monday ended in a deadlock as both sides remained adamant over newly enacted farm laws. With the Centre denying repealing the farm laws, the farmers on the other hand stood adamant and said they will not return home unless the farm laws are revoked. However, the next round of talks with the Centre will again be held on January 8. Also Read - World's Biggest Vaccination Drive to be Launched Today, Farmers-Centre Talks Reach no Conclusion: Check Top Headlines at This Hour
“We will meet the government on January 8 again and will discuss three agricultural laws and MSP issues. We have told the government that if there is no return of law, then there will be no return of home for farmers,” farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said after meeting the Centre. Also Read - Farm Laws Stir: Police Stop Congress Workers With Water Cannon in Punjab; Hooda, Other Leaders Detained in Haryana
The statement from the farmers came after the seventh round of talks between protesting unions and three central ministers concluded in a negative note. As the two sides took a lunch break after about one hour of talks, the government remained firm on not repealing the laws and is believed to have suggested a panel to take the matter forward. Also Read - Deadlock Continues as Centre-farmers Talks Remain Inconclusive, Next Meet on Jan 19
In the first hour of talks, the two sides discussed another key demand of farmers for a legal guarantee to the Minimum Support Price (MSP) procurement system.
The representatives of protesting farmers had their own food, arranged from langar (community kitchen), as they have been doing for the last few times. However, unlike the last round of talks on December 30, the ministers did not join the union leaders for the langar food and were seen having their own discussion separately during the break, which lasted for more than one and half hours.
The two sides got back together to resume their discussions at around 5.15 pm.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at various Delhi borders for over a month against the three laws. They have stayed put despite heavy rains and waterlogging at protest sites over the last couple of days, besides severe cold weather conditions prevailing in and around the national capital.
Enacted in September 2020, the government has presented these laws as major farm reforms and aimed at increasing farmers’ income.
During the meeting, the government listed various benefits from the three laws, enacted a few months ago, but farmers kept insisting that the legislation must be withdrawn to address their apprehensions that the new Acts would weaken the MSP and mandi systems and leave them at the mercy of big corporates.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Railways, Commerce and Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash, who is an MP from Punjab, are holding the talks with the representatives of 41 farmer unions at the Vigyan Bhawan.