TAD NewsDesk, New Delhi: The farmers of the country has been upset about the farm laws since its initiation. Many farmers unions have also termed them as anti farm laws. With the slogan of “Dilli Chalo”, thousands of farmers have marched to Delhi and are staying put since 25th of November, 2020.
The government decided to hear the farmers out and asked to submit a proposal while on the other hand, the farmers have been admonishing their one and only one demand of the complete repealing of the laws.
There have been several rounds of talks between the farmers and the government about the issue and all the meetings have rendered inconclusive.
- First round of talks: October 14, 2020
The farmers’ organisations, whose agitation against farm laws has disrupted rail traffic and severely impacted coal supply for thermal power plants in Punjab, had rejected the Union Agriculture Ministry’s invitation to participate in a “conference to address their concerns” on October 8.
- Second round of talks: October 14, 2020
Agriculture Minister, Tomar and Piyush Goyal, on behalf of the government, held a marathon seven-hour meeting with farm leaders of Punjab, who are opposing the recently passed three farm-related legislations. The farm leaders said that the meeting was inconclusive and the discourse would continue on November 18.
- Third Round of Talks: December 1, 2020
In the next round of talks, the Centre had offered to set up a five-member committee of officials, agrarian experts as well as farmers’ leaders to look into the three agricultural laws and resolve grievances, which the farmers’ unions rejected.
They instead demanded a special session of Parliament to repeal the laws that, according to them, are made to favour the corporate bodies. Farmer’s representatives also mentioned that the protests will continue till the issue is resolved.
Another round of talks was held by the government with selective organizations but the farmers feared that the government is trying to break the unity of the farmers by doing so and hence tried to be careful.
- Fourth Round of Talks: December 3, 2020
The farmers refused the tea, lunch and water provided by the government during the almost eight-hour long period. The government tried to assure that all their concerns are valid and will be heard. The farmers pointed out at several loopholes and discrepancies in the laws.
No final outcome was reached due to a paucity of time and while government sources said that the meeting would resume on Saturday, union leaders emerged from the venue shouting slogans, saying the talks remained deadlocked.
Many farm leaders also said that they won’t take part in any more discussions if this remains inconclusive.
Fifth Round of Talks: December 5, 2020
The Centre led by Mr Tomar sought a concrete proposal from the 40 farmers leaders which should state the changes they want.
He also proposed the following amendments:
- Considering ways to strengthen APMC mandis
- Create a level-playing field with proposed private markets
- Provide a provision for approaching higher courts for dispute resolution while asserting that procurement at minimum support price (MSP) will continue.
- Pre meeting before the sixth round of talks: December 8, 2020
A day before the sixth round of talks, Mr Amit Shah met some of the leaders to break the deadlock. According to sources, 13 leaders were invited for the talks.
Bharat bandh was observed on that day by the farmers to emphasize their demands. Shah had offered amendments to some of the provisions of the three farm laws in writing. But many farm leaders had said they will not attend the meeting the next day and that they will take a call on their next course of action after studying the government’s written proposal on that day.
- Sixth round of talks cancelled: December 9, 2020
Cancelled because of the offer made by Shah the previous day. Farmers refused to attend stating that they needed time to assess Shah’s offer. They later rejected the proposal and demanded a complete repeal of the laws.
The farmers later proposed to meet the government on December 29, but the Agriculture Ministry wrote to them requesting a meeting on December 30.
- Sixth round of talks: December 30, 2020
Three union Ministers and 41 member representatives of the farmers had the meeting. After around two hours of discussions, the union ministers joined the farmer leaders to share the langar food prepared by the protesting farmers.
The government ruled out the repealing of the laws and asked to bring out a new agenda, but the farmers leaders stuck to their demand and wanted nothing less. As a result, this meeting remained inconclusive too.
- Seventh round of talks: January 4, 2021
In this round of talks too the farmers stuck to their demand and the government refused to repeal the laws. The government listed various benefits that can be availed through these laws and hence insisted on making amends and suggestions by the farmers. And hence this meeting ended in a stalemate as usual.
- Eighth round of talks: January 8, 2021
The eighth round of talks also saw its end without a comprehensive solution. The farmers union, however, stuck to their demands and said they wont accept anything less than the repealing of the laws. The farmer leaders emphasized that they will return home only after the repealing of the laws. The phrase ” Ghar Waapsi, only if you do law waapsi” became catchy.
They decided to meet for another round of talks.
- Ninth and tenth round of talks: January 15 and 19, 2021
Both the round of talks remained inconclusive as none of the parties is putting their step down. The next round of meeting will be held on January 22, 2021.
The farmers are ready to intensify the protest and are ready to appeal at the global level as they have been doing till now. They are firm upon their stand and their demand for repealing the laws.