Govt hints at no more talks if unions don\'t consider its proposal: Centre-farmers stair

G Sugun Sharma

 The Central government on Friday asked farmers unions protesting against the three agri-marketing legislations to reconsider its proposal for the suspension of the laws for 12 to 18 months when the two sides met for the 11th round of talks in a bid to end the deadlock. While the talks remained inconclusive, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told the unions that the government is willing to meet again if they wish to discuss its proposal. 

Farmers stuck to their demand for complete repeal of laws and said they will intensify the agitation. Addressing media after the talks, SS Pandher of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee said that the Agriculture Minister made them wait for three and a half hours before initiating the meeting. 

"The minister made us wait for three and a half hours. This is an insult to farmers. When he came, he asked us to consider the government's proposal and said that he is ending the process of meeting... The agitation will continue peacefully," Pandher told media. 

"During the meeting, the government offered to put the implementation of the farm laws on hold for two years and said that the next round of meeting can take place only if farmer unions are ready to accept the proposal," said Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait.

The government had proposed to put the talks on hold during the 10th round of talks on December 20, which the unions rejected. The two sides have failed to reach consensus on two main issues, the MSP and the repeal of the laws, during 11 round of talks. 

Meanwhile, Tikait has said the farmers will carry out its planned tractor rally in Delhi on the occasion of Republic Day.

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