Cannot and will not repeal laws,’ says Centre as farm talks hit another stalemate

During the eight rounds of talks, union government told the farmers “Cannot and will not repeal laws” which took place on Friday i.e. 8th January 2021 at Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi.

The next round that is the ninth round of talks are all set to take place on 15th January.

As we know, Its been over a month of thousands of farmers protesting at the Delhi-Haryana border against the 3 new farm laws approved by the government in September.

At the seventh round of talks which took place on 4th  January, ministers were adamant about not changing the decision which intensified the agitation of farmers, who decided to organise a big tractor rally on 26th january (republic day) with female protesters leading the rally.

Earlier on 30th December the government agreed to two demands of the farmers. One, the government had agreed not to pay direct cash to farmers instead of power subsidy for agricultural use, which the farmers argue would increase power costs for them. Two, the government had agreed to keep farmers out of the ambit of an anti-pollution law that prescribes harsh penalties for crop-residue burning.

On Friday, Three Union ministers — Narendra Tomar, Piyush Goyal and Som Parkash – who are representing the Centre had met Union home minister Amit Shah before heading into the talks.

Farm minister Narendra Tomar, opening the negotiations, said that the three federal laws to open up agricultural markets apply to the whole of the country and many farmer organisations support the laws.

The government said it couldn’t repeal the laws and is ready to discuss anything farmers find objectionable,” Balbir Singh Rajewal, a farm leader, told HT from inside the venue.

Rajewal, who opened the negotiations from the farmers’ side, said the farmers won’t give up their agitation unless the laws are repealed.

The farmers raised the issue of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders from Punjab calling protesting farm leaders names and branding them Khalistanis, a reference to the Sikh separatist movement.

We told the government that this is highly objectionable. On one hand, the government is negotiating with farmers, while the ruling party’s leaders are trying to tarnish our movement all the time,” Rajewal said.

During a tea break amid talks, the three ministers sat in a separate adjacent room to discuss among themselves.

Farmers are demanding a repeal of three pro-reforms laws as well as a legal guarantee for federally fixed minimum support prices.

Written By : Garima Arora