Leaders representing various farmers’ unions and organizations coming out after Saturday’s meeting at Vigyan Bhawan. (HT photo)
Leaders representing various farmers’ unions and organizations coming out after Saturday’s meeting at Vigyan Bhawan. (HT photo)

Farmers’ protest: No headway yet, next meeting to be held on December 9

The government has said it needs some more time for internal discussion as farmers held their ground that they want withdrawal of the laws, not amendments.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 05, 2020 08:46 PM IST

Even after four hours of consultation for the third time after the ‘Dilli Chalo’ protests began, the farmers and the Centre could not reach a common ground on Saturday and the next meeting will be held on December 9, ANI reported. The proposed Bharat Bandh on December 8 will go on as announced, Bharatiya Kisan Union president Rakesh Tikait said. It has been learnt that the government side sought some more time to come up with some concrete proposals to which the farmers’ leaders agreed.

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Before the protests began on November 26, both the sides met twice to deliberate over the concerns. However, the meetings have recorded some developments as the farmers have accepted the government’s standpoint on minimum support price that MSPs won’t be done away with. The government has also agreed to proper registration of traders. But the discussion is hitting the wall as the farmers are now stern in their demand of a complete withdrawal of all the three laws.

All eyes were on Saturday’s meeting as the farmers earlier said that this was the last chance and the government, on the other hand, assured that a solution will come out after Saturday’s meeting. The meeting assumed much importance as ahead of the meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi was briefed about the current situation. Earlier, Union home minister Amit Shah, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh discussed farmers’ issues.

Coming out of the meeting, Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait said the government will prepare a new draft and the future course of action will be decided on that. Meanwhile, the Bharat Bandh that the unions have called will be on track, he said. “Government will prepare a draft and give us. They said that they will consult the states too. Discussions were held on MSP too but we said that we should also take up laws and talk about their roll-back. Bharat Bandh (on 8th Dec) will go on as announced,” Tikait said.

Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar and railways minister Piyush Goyal, who is also in-charge of the food ministry, addressed Saturday’s meeting. Tomar requested senior citizens and children who are at various protesting sites to go home, as the talks between the two sides will be going on.

The farmers maintained their stand throughout that they don’t want amendment as the laws, they said, have been designed to make government and corporates benefit, not the farmers. The leaders also said that they are well-equipped to go on with their protest. They will not indulge in any violence. “Intelligence Bureau will inform you what we are doing at the protest site. If the government wants us to stay on road, we have no problem,” a leader said.

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