Consensus reached on two out of four issues with protesting farmers, says Agri Minister Tomar

Farmers listen to a speaker during a protest against the newly passed farm bills at Singhu border near Delhi, India, December 5, 2020. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

New Delhi: A consensus on two out of four issues has been reached between farmer leaders and the government at the seventh round of talks held here on Wednesday with the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar stating that the next meeting will now be held on January 4.

“Today’s talks were held in a very good environment and it concluded on a positive note. Consensus on two out of four issues was reached between both sides,” Tomar said while speaking to media on 6th round of talks with farmers’ unions at Vigyan Bhawan, the venue of the talks. During today’s meeting, the farmer leaders have demanded justice and compensation for the families of the farmers who died during the protest.
Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Narendra Singh Tomar had food with farmer leaders during the lunch break at Vigyan Bhawan.

“Considering the chilly weather in Delhi, I have requested the farmer leaders to send home the elderly, women and children. The next round of talks will be held on January 4,” Tomar said.

“First issue was an ordinance related to the Environment. Unions were apprehensive about farmers being included along with stubble ones. Both sides agreed to farmers’ exclusion,” he said

The union agriculture minister said that Farmers feel that if reform is introduced in the Electricity Act, they’ll suffer loss. “Unions wanted that electricity subsidy given to farmers by states for irrigation should continue. The consensus was reached on this issue also,: he said.
Ahead of the meeting, the delegation of farmers from several states, who have been protesting at the borders of the national capital for over a month, maintained that they want the government to repeal the new farm laws.

“Our stand is clear that the three farm laws should be taken back,” said a farmer leader before making his way to the meeting.
Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait was also seen heading to the meeting from the Ghazipur border (UP-Delhi border).

Tikait had earlier hit out at the opposition saying the opposition was weak and are not supporting the cause as they should.

“This is the reason farmers have had to come on the roads. The government doesn’t fear them. They should sit in pitched tents and stage protests on roads against the farm laws,” Tikait said.

Earlier in the day, Union Minister Som Prakash said that the government would go into the meeting with an open heart and mind and would try to resolve the issue so that people can go back to their homes for New Year.

This will be the seventh round of talks of government with farmers, including one with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Farmers have been protesting at different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.



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