Government urged farmer unions to give option other than repealing farm laws during talks: Tomar

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Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar speaking to media on Friday. (Photo/ANI)
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar speaking to media on Friday. (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], January 8 (ANI): The stalemate between the government and farmer unions persisted during the eighth round of talks on Friday with the farmers insisting on their demand for the repeal of the new farm laws. The government asked farmer unions to "give an option other than repealing" and the next round of talks is proposed for January 15.

Talking to reporters after the meeting held at Vigyan Bhavan here, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar hoped that a solution will be found in the next meeting on January 15.

"Discussion on the laws was taken up but no decision could be made. The government said that if farmer unions give an option other than repealing, we will consider it. But no option could be presented, so the meeting concluded. The next meeting will be held at 12 noon on January 15 and I hope that a solution will come out in that meeting," Tomar said.

He said that many people in the country are in favour of laws but protesters believe that these laws should be withdrawn.

"The government has said time and again that if farmer unions give options other than repealing of laws, we are always ready for the talk. People who are protesting believe that these laws should be withdrawn. There are many people in the country who are in favour of these laws. Those supporting the protest are of the view that the laws be repealed and there are many others who support the laws," he said.

"The government is continuously talking to the unions who want these laws be repealed. We also give an appointment to those supporting the laws, when they request us," he added.

After the meeting, Hannan Mollah, general secretary, All India Kisan Sabha said that the scheduled 'parade' by farmers on the Republic Day will go on as planned as the talks have "failed to give any result".

He said there was a heated discussion.

"There was a heated discussion. We said we do not want anything other than the repeal of laws. We won't go to any court. The laws should be repealed or we will continue to fight. Our parade on January 26 will go on as planned," he said.

Apart from Tomar, union minister Piyush Goyal participated in the meeting.

Sources said there was a heated argument on next date with the farmers stating that they "had not come for taking dates".

On January 2, Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a joint front of almost 40 farmer organisations threatened that farmers will march into Delhi on January 26 with their tractors, trolleys and other vehicles if their demands are not met. They said a "farmers' republic parade" will take place after the official parade.

Farmers have been protesting at 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)