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Amit Shah Holds 2-Hr Meeting With Tomar, Goyal as Farmers Take a Hard Line on Agenda for Today's Talks

Farmer leaders address a press conference at Singhu border in New Delhi, on December 22, 2020. (PTI Photo/Shahbaz Khan)

Farmer leaders address a press conference at Singhu border in New Delhi, on December 22, 2020. (PTI Photo/Shahbaz Khan)

The government has invited 40 protesting farmer unions on December 30 for the next round of talks on all relevant issues to find a "logical solution" to the current impasse over the three laws.

Protesting farmer unions on Tuesday wrote to the Centre on the talks scheduled between the two sides on Wednesday, saying the discussion will only be on the modalities of repealing the three legislation and giving a legal guarantee on the MSP.

The government has invited the protesting farmers for the sixth round of talks on Wednesday. In its letter on Tuesday, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which represents 40 farmer unions, said the discussion will be only on modalities for the repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee on MSP.

The Morcha further said the agenda of the meeting 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. Through the letter, the Morcha also formally accepted the government's invitation for the dialogue.

Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal, meanwhile, met senior BJP leader and Home Minister Amit Shah on the eve of the talks.

Agriculture Minister Tomar, Railway Minister Goyal and MoS Commerce and Industry Som Prakash have been representing the Centre in dialogues with the farmers. It has been over a month now that thousands of farmers, especially from Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh, are camping at Delhi's borders seeking repeal of the three farm laws enacted in September by the Centre. They have threatened to intensify their stir in the coming days if their demands are not fulfilled.

So far, five rounds of formal talks have remained inconclusive. The last round was held on December 5, while the sixth round of talks originally scheduled for December 9 was called off a day after an informal meeting of Home Minister Shah with some union leaders failed to reach any breakthrough. The government has presented these laws as major agriculture reforms aimed at helping farmers and increasing their income, but the protesting unions fear that the new legislations have left them at the mercy of big corporates by weakening the MSP and mandi systems.


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