With talks deadlocked, Govt seeks more time

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 05, 2020

No let-up Farmers shouting slogans at Singhu on Delhi’s border on Saturday   -  Kamal Narang

Farmers' protest enters 10th day

The Centre on Saturday sought more time from the protesting farmers to come up with ‘a concrete proposal’ after further consultation within the government. Both sides agreed to meet again on December 9.

Farmers’ representatives told the ministerial committee — consisting of Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal — that nothing less than a repeal of the three farm laws and dropping of the draft Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020 was acceptable to them.

They also rejected the government’s appeal to send children, women and elderly protesters back home. The protest entered the 10th day.

With farmers sticking to their demand, the Ministers had to pause the talks to have a discussion between them. Subsequently, the Ministers sought time till December 9 for further talks. They also promised the farmer leaders that the government’s proposals will be sent to them beforehand for discussion.

Farmer leaders said they would go ahead with the proposed nationwide hartal on December 8. The All India Motor transport Congress said it would join the strike and trucks, buses and taxis would not ply that day

‘For farmers’ welfare’

Later talking to the media, Tomar reiterated that the government is committed to the welfare of farmers and PM-KISAN, which has so far given ₹1 lakh crore to 10 crore farmers, is the best example for that. The Minister said the reforms were brought in because the government wanted processing industries to flourish in rural areas helping farmers earn more from their produce. He also lauded the farmers for keeping law and order even when they were on agitation.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister apart from Tomar and Goyal before the talks with farmer leaders began.

Meanwhile, farmers in many places across the country burnt effigies of Modi and others in solidarity with those camped outside the capital.


Published on December 05, 2020

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