The eleventh round of talks between the protesting farmers’ unions and the central government ended on an inconclusive note on Friday. A date for the next meeting has not been fixed yet.
“We gave a proposal to farmers regarding the suspension of the laws and if they have a better proposal, then they can come to us,” the government said after the talks.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar asked the farmers to reconsider the offer for putting the Acts on hold for 12-18 months. However, the farmers stuck to their demands of a complete withdrawal of the contentious laws.
After the talks concluded, the minister said that they are ready for another round of meeting if the farmers wish to discuss the temporary suspension.
“There are no issues with the laws. But the government has offered to suspend them as a mark of respect towards the farmers,” said Tomar, thanking the unions for their cooperation.
Meanwhile, the farmer leaders announced that the proposed tractor rally will take place according to their schedule on Republic Day in the national capital.
The farmers also expressed dismay as they were kept waiting for over three hours by the union ministers after the lunch break got over.
The farmers and ministers parted ways at around 1:15 pm when the government told the agrarians that they should hold another meeting to mull over the government’s proposal.
After this, both the sides broke for lunch. However, the ministers did not return for three hours.
“The meeting may have lasted for nearly five hours, but two sides sat face-to-face for less than 30 minutes,” said farmer leaders after the meeting concluded.
The added that their agitation will continue peacefully.
“The minister made us wait for three and a half hours. This is an insult to farmers. When he came, he asked us to consider the government’s proposal and said that he is ending the process of meetings,” said SS Pandher, the representative of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee.