Even after seven rounds of talks between the Centre and farm unions, there seems to be no agreement on the three farm laws that have sparked protests across the country.
The latest meeting between the farm unions and therefore the Centre, represented by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash on 4 January, ended on an inconclusive note.
To understand what’s causing the deadlock, we spoke to Sarwan Singh Pandher, general secretary of the Kisaan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, who had attended the meeting with the ministers at Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan. Here’s what he said:
What Happened at the Meeting on 4 January?
From what I understand from what the ministers said, i do not think the govt is willing to concede anything. The minister (Tomar) said after the meeting ‘it takes two hands to clap’. Problem is that government has both the hands and it’s hidden both of them. we do not have the hands or power to make a decision anything. All we will do is protest, which is what we do . If the govt repeals the three laws, good. But if they do not , we’ll need to intensify the agitation.
In the meeting, the govt called the three laws “revolutionary”. So this could offer you a thought of what quite meeting it must are .
As it is, the three ministers reached 35 minutes late. Then they disappeared after lunch for nearly two hours. the whole exercise was a waste of your time . We wasted 4-6 hours.
The lunch break was at 3:30 then we reconvened at 5:10. We don’t know where that they had gone. they appear to possess been lecture someone. Their tone was heated initially but later they softened it.
I don’t think anything is being achieved through this dialogue. The national media says, farmers are being stubborn. How can people that are requesting and appealing, be rigid? Two or three of our people are dying everyday, this movement goes on with great difficulty.
Why Are Unions Firm on Repeal of Three Farm Laws?
Our proposal is what it had been earlier – repeal the three farm laws and convey a law to ensure Minimum Support Prices. this is often what happened within the meeting – we kept saying ‘repeal the laws’, they kept repeating that ‘this isn’t possible, this is often a law passed in Parliament and signed by the President”.
They even told us to appeal to the Supreme Court. They told us to simply accept amendments. we’ve already listed call at detail what the shortcomings are within the laws.
Response to Centre’s Allegation that Farmers Are Being ‘Rigid’
It is wrong for the govt to mention (that it’s moved ten steps forward). They haven’t moved even one step. All they’re trying is to divert us from our core demand of repealing the three laws.
What is subsequent Course of Action?
I feel that the govt remains underestimating the agitation. we might got to intensify the agitation and widen its scope. i feel the govt is forcing us to point out our power.
The government wants to wear us down, they need to divide the movement or malign the movement. this is often the negative policy that the govt is following.
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