No headway in farmers' unions-govt talks to resolve Punjab rail blockade

·2-min read

New Delhi, Nov 13 (PTI) A meeting between farmers' unions and the government to resolve the ongoing rail traffic disruption and blockade in Punjab ended inconclusively on Friday, with both sides sticking to their ground.

According to sources, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal held the meeting with representatives of various farmers unions at Vigyan Bhawan here.

During the seven-hour-long crucial meeting, both sides heard each other's stand and tried to bring common ground for restoring rail services in Punjab, which is currently facing a blockade.

'The meeting remained inconclusive and the ministers after hearing our side said they would again meet shortly to resolve the issue,' Bhartiya Kisan Manch president Jathedar Boota Singh Shadipur told PTI after the meeting.

He said the farmers' unions wanted services of goods trains to resume as Punjab was suffering due to the blockade. Train services to the state remain suspended due to the farmers' agitation over the new farm laws.

However, the Centre was keen to start both passenger and goods trains to Punjab and end the blockade.

The farmers' unions would meet again on November 18 in Chandigarh to chalk out further strategy on the issue.

Sources said both sides were firm on their respective stands on the new farm laws.

The ministers and the government officials tried to convince the farmer leaders why these laws were important and how beneficial they were for the farming sector, the sources pointed out.

However, the farmers stuck to their stand that these legislations must be repealed and replaced with another set of laws framed with wider consultation with all stakeholders. The farmers also demanded a guarantee on the MSP front.

Government sources said that a detailed presentation was made on the procurement levels, but no breaking ground could be reached as farmer unions remained adamant on their stand. PTI SKC LUX ZMN