Meeting of government-farmer associations unsettled; Next talks on Jan 19

Farmers’ protests, Day 51: Protesting peasants’ unions in their ninth round of talks with the three Union ministers stood firm on their demand for a complete repeal of the three controversial agricultural laws but when the government asked them to I asked to be more flexible and expressed willingness for necessary amendments, as the two sides decided to meet again on 19 January.

The last eight rounds of talks have failed to end several weeks of protests at various borders of the national capital, but Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said earlier in the day that the government looked forward to a positive discussion scheduled meeting on Friday.

Farmers unions have been saying that they were ready to participate in the scheduled negotiations with the government, even stating that they do not want to appear before a court-appointed panel and have also questioned its creation.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, are camping at several Delhi border points, demanding a complete repeal of the three farm laws and a legal guarantee of the minimum support price for their crops.

Meanwhile, activist Anna Hazare has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and reiterated his decision to launch a “final hunger strike” of his life on farmers’ issues in Delhi by the end of January.