The sixth round of talks between the Centre and protesting farmer unions has concluded. While a consensus was reached on issues related to environment and Electricity Act, talks will continue between the two sides as farmer leaders kept insisting on the repeal of the three farm laws and legal guarantee for MSP. The next round of talks will be held on January 4.
This was the sixth round of talks after a three-week hiatus. After the talks, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said he requested the farmer leaders to send home the elderly, women and children. Discussing the two issues on which consensus was reached between the farmers and government, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, “First issue was an ordinance related to the environment. Unions were apprehensive about farmers being included along with Parali ones. Both sides agreed to farmers’ exclusion.”
Union minister Som Prakash — who has been part of the government’s three-member team for negotiations with the farmers — said, “Today’s meeting with farmers will be decisive”. “We want them to celebrate New Year at their homes, with their family and we are going into the meeting with an open heart and mind. The government will try to resolve the issue so that people can go back to their homes,” Som Prakash was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Centre has reaffirmed that it has no intention of scrapping the minimum support price (MSP) regime, with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stressing that no “ma ka lal (no one)” can take away land from the farmers.
But in its letter on Tuesday, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the umbrella organisation which represents the farmer unions, said the modalities for repealing the three contentious laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support price (MSP) must be part of the agenda. The Morcha further said the agenda should also include amendments to be made and notified in the Commission for the Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2020 to exclude farmers from its penal provisions.