NEW DELHI/CHANDIGARH: The ninth round of talks between farmers’ unions and the Centre on Friday remained inconclusive but both sides agreed to meet again next Tuesday in a bid to break the deadlock over three contentious farm laws.
“The government urged farmers to form an informal group among themselves to prepare concrete proposals to be discussed in the next meeting,” Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said. However, the unions rejected the suggestion.
Harinder Singh Lakhowal, general secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Union, Punjab (Lakhowal group) said the Centre asked the union leaders to discuss their problems with the farm laws clause-wise. The farmers said no. They also turned down the government’s request to meet the panel formed by the Supreme Court.
The apex court had on January 12 stayed implementation of the laws and set up a panel to talk to both the striking farmers and the government. The farm unions have welcomed the stay but refused to meet the panel saying it’s pro-government.
The farmers have reiterated they won’t end their protest until the three laws are withdrawn fully. The next round of talks would be significant as the SC-appointed committee will be present in the meeting. One of the panel members, Bhupinder Singh Mann, had on Thursday recused himself from the committee.
NIA raids figure in talks
Farmers raised the issue of NIA raids on transporters supporting the agitation, said Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president, BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan)