The talks between the Union government and the farmers agitating against the three recently formulated agricultural laws hit the roadblock within the first few minutes of the meeting held at the Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Friday.
As the farmers pressed on their demand to repeal the three laws, the government said it cannot and will not take the laws back, sources said.
The latest meeting between farmers and the government started at 2.45 pm and ended within two hours.
The next round of talks will be held on January 15.
According to sources, the Centre has told farmers to wait for the Supreme Court verdict. “If it says farm laws are illegal, we will take them back, but if it says otherwise then farmers must end their agitation,” the sources quoted the government as saying in the meeting.
However, farmers have rejected the proposition and said it could be a very time taking process.
According to the sources privy to the developments at the meeting, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar has told farmers that the farm laws have been created for the entire country, not just for a specific state and since the farmers everywhere else are supporting the laws, the farm leaders should end their agitation. The farmers have said that they will not accept anything other than the repeal of laws.
“Our ghar wapsi can happen only if you do ‘law wapsi‘,” one farmer leader said at the meeting today, PTI reported.
Another pointed out that ideally, the Centre should not interfere in agriculture matters as various Supreme Court orders have declared farming as a state subject.
“It seems you (the government) do not want to resolve the issue as talks have been happening for so many days. In that case, please give us a clear answer and we will go. Why to waste everyone’s time,” he said, according to a PTI report.
The three new agricultural laws, legislated in September 2020, have sparked a furore across the country in the past few months, with protesting farmers threatening to hold a tractor rally in the national capital on Republic Day if their demands are not met.
The protesters’ side is being represented by over 40 farmer leaders, according to a release from the agriculture ministry. Besides Tomar, the government side is being represented by minister for railways, commerce and food, Piyush Goyal and minister of state for commerce Som Parkash, who is an MP from Punjab.