Farmer unions asked to submit draft to government regarding their demands

·3-min read
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar talking to media in New Delhi on Friday. (Photo/ANI)
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar talking to media in New Delhi on Friday. (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], January 15 (ANI): As the ninth round of talks between the central government and farmer unions remained inconclusive, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday said the unions have been asked to form informal groups among themselves and submit a draft to the government regarding their demands.

Tomar said the government will think about the draft with an "open mind".

Saying that the government is concerned about the farmers protesting in cold conditions, the minister asserted that the Centre is positive to reach a solution through talks.

He said both the sides have decided to hold the next round of talks on January 19 as the talks "were not decisive".

"The ninth round of negotiations with the farmers union ended. All three laws were discussed. The Essential Commodities Act was discussed in detail. Attempts were made to address their doubts. The union and the government decided that there would be discussion again at 12 noon on January 19," Tomar told media after the conclusion of talks here.

Tomar said the central government respects and welcomes the Supreme Court's decision of staying implementation of farm laws and setting up of a committee for breaking the deadlock between the Centre and farmers.

"We all have a commitment to the Supreme Court and will remain so in the coming time. Government of India welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court. The government will present its side before the committee constituted by the Supreme Court when asked," he said.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the Centre's three farm laws and asked the committee formed by it concerning the laws to submit its report within two months.

The committee has been directed to hold a dialogue with farmers and submit its recommendations pertaining to the farm laws within two months from the date of its first sitting.

However, the leaders of farmers' unions rejected the committee, saying their members were already in favour of the farm laws. Bhupinder Singh Mann, National President of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Mann) had on Thursday recused himself from the four-member committee appointed by Supreme Court over the new farm laws.

Agriculture Minister Tomar also attacked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his statements in protest against the farm laws.

"Congress party laughs at statements and actions of Rahul Gandhi, it mocks at him. I would like to tell him that in their 2019 election manifesto, Congress had promised that they will bring this reform. If he does not remember, he should read the manifesto again," he said.

"If it is mentioned in the manifesto, then Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi should appear before the media and accept that they were either lying at that time or are lying now," he added.

During the Congress party's 'Kisan Adhikar March' in the national capital on Friday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the newly enacted farm laws will 'finish the farmers'.

Congress Party held protests across the country demanding a repeal of the farm laws brought by the Central government, against which farmer organisations have been protesting at the various borders of Delhi for 50 days now.

Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws - Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)