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Farmers’ Protests highlights: 8th round of talks with govt fails to end deadlock; next meeting likely on Jan 15

The eighth round of negotiations between the protesting farmer unions and the Centre on Friday ended on an inconclusive note with farmers sticking to their demand of repeal of the farm laws and the Centre insisting to limit the talks to contentious clauses. 

By: Express Web Desk | Chandigarh, New Delhi | Updated: January 11, 2021 10:11:22 am
Farmers during a tractor march (Express Photo: Gajendra Yadav)

The eighth round of negotiations between the protesting farmer unions and the Centre on Friday ended on an inconclusive note, with farmers sticking to their demand of repeal of the farm laws and the Centre insisting to limit the talks to contentious clauses. Holding their ground during meeting, the farmers on Friday told the government their “ghar wapsi” can take place only after “law wapsi“. However, the Centre ruled out a complete withdrawal of Acts, asserting the laws have been welcomed by a large section of farmers in other states across the country, and asked the unions to think about the interests of the entire country.

The next round of talks is likely to be held on January 15.

Ahead of the talks, Tomar said he was hopeful a solution would be found. “I am hopeful that talks will be held in a positive atmosphere and a solution will be found. During discussions, each side has to take steps to reach a solution,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. The seventh round of talks remained inconclusive Monday over two key demands — repeal of the newly enacted laws and provision of legal guarantee on the minimum support price.

On Thursday, Tomar met religious leader Baba Lakha Singh, one of the heads of the Nanaksar Sikh sect based in Punjab. Singh, who has been organising langar at the protest sites, said he wished to mediate between the government and protesting farmers. While Tomar played down the meeting, farmer unions said the religious leader wasn’t speaking for them. A day before the talks, thousands of farmers also held a tractor march, a “dress rehearsal” for Republic Day on January 26, when they plan to hold a bigger march towards Delhi. Farmers say over 5,000 tractors rode towards the eastern and western peripheral expressways from Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur and Palwal.

Live Blog

Eighth round of Govt-farmers talks fails to break impasse; Agri Minister Narendra Singh Tomar meets religious leader Baba Lakha Singh; farmers hold rehearsal tractor march for Republic Day.

21:38 (IST)08 Jan 2021
No solution except repealing farm laws: Cong on farmers' protests

On a day farmers are holding the eighth round of talks with the government, the Congress on Friday said there is no solution except repealing the three farm laws. The Congress also stepped up the offensive against the government by launching an online campaign in support of the farmers' agitation, with party leader Rahul Gandhi accusing the government of betraying the farmers for benefitting their 'corporate friends'. Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also met the party's MPs and MLAs from Punjab who are sitting in protest at Jantar Mantar demanding repeal of the farm laws. "The only solution is to repeal the three farm laws. There is no other solution," she told the protesting legislators during her meeting with them. --PTI

21:31 (IST)08 Jan 2021
‘Ghar wapsi’ only after ‘law wapsi’: Protesting farmers dig in heels after talks with Centre fail to make headway

The eighth round of negotiations between the protesting farmer unions and the Centre over the recently-enacted agriculture laws ended on an inconclusive note Friday, with farmers sticking to their key demand of repeal of the farm laws and the Centre insisting to limit the talks to contentious clauses. The next round of talks is likely to be held on January 15.

Holding their ground during meeting, the 41-member representative group of the agitating farmers told the government their “ghar wapsi” (return to home) can take place only after “law wapsi“ (repeal of laws) whereas the Centre ruled out a complete withdrawal of Acts. It asserted that a large section of farmers in other states across the country have welcomed the laws and asked the unions to think about the interests of the entire country. Read highlights of today's farmers-Centre talks here

20:04 (IST)08 Jan 2021
CITU members, Aanganwari workers, try to cross police barricades in Ludhiana

CITU members, along with Aanganwari workers, tried to cross the police barricades to enter Mini secratariat during their protest rally in support of farmers in Ludhiana.

18:09 (IST)08 Jan 2021
If repealing of laws was only issue, a solution would've been reached: Khattar after meeting Amit Shah

If repealing of laws was only issue, a solution would've been reached: Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar after meeting Amit Shah

18:02 (IST)08 Jan 2021
If farmer unions give an option other than repealing, we'll consider it: Centre

Stating that Friday's meeting remained inconclusive, Agriculture Minister Narednra Singh Tomar said, "The government urged (the farmers) that if the farmer unions give an option other than repealing, we'll consider it."

17:57 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Simply want a repeal of the new farm laws: BKU

Simply want a repeal of the new farm laws: BKU

17:22 (IST)08 Jan 2021
8th round of talks with govt fails to end deadlock; next meeting likely on Jan 15

The eighth round of negotiations between the protesting farmer unions and the Centre on Friday ended on an inconclusive note with farmers sticking to their demand of repeal of the farm laws and the Centre insisting to limit the talks to contentious clauses. Holding their ground during meeting, the farmers on Friday told the government their “ghar wapsi” can take place only after “law wapsi“. However, the Centre ruled out the complete withdrawal of Acts, asserting the laws have been welcomed by a large section of farmers in other states across the country, and asked the unions to think about the interests of the entire country.

17:10 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Repeal laws, we'll return home, farmers tell govt; Agri minister says keep national interest in mind

Holding their ground during the eighth round of meeting with the Centre, the farmers on Friday told the government that their "ghar wapsi" can take place only after "law wapsi". However, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar insisted the talks must be limited to contentious clauses and ruled out a complete withdrawal of Acts. In a fresh round of negotiations with the 41 representatives of agitating peasants, the government asserted the farm reform laws have been welcomed by a large section of farmers in other states across the country and asked the unions to think about the interests of the entire country.

15:10 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal at Vigyan Bhawan

Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal at Vigyan Bhawan.

15:00 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Eighth round of farmers-Centre talks underway at Vigyan Bhawan

In yet another effort towards breaking the deadlock over the recently-enacted farm laws, a meeting between 41 representatives of protesting farmer unions and the central government is underway at Vigyan Bhawan. Ahead of the eighth round oftalks, Tomar said he was hopeful a solution would be found. “I am hopeful that talks will be held in a positive atmosphere and a solution will be found. During discussions, each side has to take steps to reach a solution,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. 

13:48 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Eighth round of govt-farmer talks to begin shortly at Vigyan Bhavan

The latest round of talks to be held at Vigyan Bhavan at 2 pm on Friday is crucial as the previous meeting on January 4 remained inconclusive. There was some breakthrough in the sixth round of talks on December 30 when the government conceded to two demands of the agitating farmers pertaining to power subsidy and stubble burning. The previous rounds of talks had failed to make any headway.

13:45 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Congress MPs protesting against Farm laws meet Priyanka Gandhi

Congress MPs and leaders who are protesting against Centre's three farm laws at Jantar Mantar meet party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at Rahul Gandhi's residence.

13:08 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Hopeful of a solution, says Tomar ahead of eighth round of talks

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar says he is hopeful a solution will be found during the eighth round of talks today. "I am hopeful that talks will be held in a positive atmosphere and a solution will be found. During discussions, each side has to take steps to reach a solution," he tells news agency ANI. 

12:23 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Farm laws: Govt-farmers talks at 2 pm today

Today's talks between farmers and the government is set to be held at the Vigyan Bhavan at 2 pm, reports PTI. The last round of talks, held last Monday, failed to break the deadlock over the contentious farm laws, enacted in September.

11:09 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Harsimrat: PM should talk directly to farmers, Punjab BJP trying to defame stir

Former Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Thursday said the Punjab BJP was trying to defame the farmers' protest by accusing peasants farmers of indulging in politics. "After several rounds of meetings if ministers are unable to resolve the farmers’ issues then Prime Minister Narendra Modi should directly talk to protesting farmers," she said.

"It is strange that farmers are spending nights in open during the chilling winters and even then their demands are falling on deaf ears. Farmers are dying at the doorstep of the central government while protesting for their demands. Who will be responsible for deaths of ‘annadaatas’ of the country?" she added. Read more here

09:54 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Sukhbir says 40 farmers who died were Akalis; unions say ‘news for us’
Sukhbir Singh Badal interacts with the family of advocate Amarjeet Singh Rai who had died by suicide at Tikri border, in Jalalabad on Thursday. (Express Photo)

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) claimed 40 of the 54 farmers who died during the protests at Delhi were from the party cadre even as farmer union leaders rubbished the statement and pointed out how Akali leaders had not even been allowed to attend the last rites of these peasants. In an interaction with The Indian Express, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said his party workers were heavily involved in the ongoing agitation for the repeal of the three central farm laws.

“Our rank and file is at Delhi borders protesting against farm laws, not as SAD workers but as farmers,” Sukhbir told Raakhi Jagga. “Our Youth Akali Dal workers have made a tent city at the borders. A number of them are party office-bearers at the block and village level,” he claimed, calling the agitation a public movement. “It hardly matters which political party you belong to”.

09:21 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Counselling for farmers after 3 suicides: ‘Away from kin, stir taking a toll’
Awareness campaign at Singhu border by counsellors Sanya Kataria and Manmeet Kaur. (Courtesy: United Sikhs)
 

Following three suicides and an attempted suicide by farmers protesting at Delhi’s borders, counselling services are now being provided at Singhu, and will begin at Ghazipur in the next few days. On Thursday, the counsellors came to the aid of a person from Kurukshetra who slit his wrist, escaping with superficial injuries, who has now been employed in ‘seva (voluntary service)’ to keep him occupied. Read Aranya Shankar's report

08:56 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Opinion: Misunderstanding the MSP

On minimum support price (MSP), the most important of the many contentious issues, the government position is riddled with so many irresolvable contradictions that a mere amendment — and less so an assurance on maintaining MSP — cannot resolve the matter. MSP, public procurement system (PPS) and a strict time-bound purchase of output brought to the PPS (represented by Agricultural Produce Markets Committee, or APMC, mandi yards) form a package deal. If you take out one aspect, the deal falls apart, write Pritam Singh and Shruti Bhogal. Read their opinion column here

08:45 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Singhu to Palwal, thousands take out tractor march

Thousands of farmers Thursday took to the eastern and western peripheral expressways in their tractors — via Ghaziabad and Manesar. The tractor march, farmers said, was a “dress rehearsal” for Republic Day, when they plan to hold a bigger march towards Delhi. "Together, we will protest against the government and show that we are united. We aren’t going to back down,” said Brar Singh (51) from Sangrur in Punjab, who has been at Singhu for a month. Read Jignasa Sinha and Ashna Butani's report

08:25 (IST)08 Jan 2021
Narendra Singh Tomar meets sect head, farm unions say no link

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday met religious leader Baba Lakha Singh, one of the heads of the Nanaksar Sikh sect based in Punjab. While Baba Lakha Singh, who has been organising langar at the protest sites, said he wished to mediate between the government and the protesting farmers, Tomar played down the meeting and the farm unions said the religious leader wasn’t speaking for them. Read Harikishan Sharma and Kamaldeep Singh Brar's report

women farmers protest, haryana farmers, tractor parade, Republic Day, farm law, Haryana news, Indian express news Women being trained to drive tractors, on the Jind-Patiala national highway on Monday. (Express photo)

A day before the eighth round of talks between the government and the protesting farmer leaders, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar Thursday said the government was ready to consider any proposal other than repeal of three farm laws, the key demand of the agitating peasants. The minister also denied giving any proposal to Punjab's Nanaksar Gurudwara head Baba Lakha, a religious leader, for ending the stalemate. "I cannot say anything right now. In fact, it depends on what issues that will come up for discussion in the meeting," PTI quoted Tomar as telling the media when asked about the possible outcome of the Friday meeting.

Harsimrat says Centre has lost trust of farmers

SAD leader and former Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said the Centre has lost the trust of the entire farming community and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should directly talk to farmers who are registering their protests at the doorstep of the national capital, news agency PTI reported.

In an interview to PTI, Badal, leader of the ruling BJP's erstwhile ally, said, "Farmers are dying at the doorstep of the central government while protesting for their demands. Who will be responsible for deaths of 'annadaatas' of the country?" Badal said. Talking about the ongoing meetings between protesting farmers and Centre, Badal said after seven rounds of meetings nothing concrete has come out. "After several rounds of meetings if ministers are unable to resolve the farmers' issues then Prime Minister Narendra Modi should directly talk to protesting farmers," Badal said.

Farmers hold 'rehearsal' tractor march for January 26

Thousands of farmers participated in a tractor rally on the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways Thursday in a "rehearsal" for January 26, when they will move into the national capital from Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Police estimated around 2,500 tractors were on the expressway during the march.

Addressing a press conference at the Singhu border, where farmers have been camping since November 26, Yogendra Yadav, political activist and a member of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, Friday said the tractors would leave from the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders, and Rewasan in Haryana, for the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways, and meet midway. "This may be seen as a rehearsal of what will happen on January 26," he said.

Supreme Court agrees to hear petitions against farm laws

The Supreme Court will hear petitions challenging the new laws and those against the ongoing protests on January 11. A bench of Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubra-manian fixed the matter for next week after Attorney General K K Venugopal informed the court that “there are chances of the parties coming to some sort of an understanding”.

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