New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government Friday hardened its stance and told the agitating farmers that the three farm laws they were protesting against will not be repealed.
Government sources also said the farmer unions can go to the Supreme Court to get the matter settled.
A bunch of pleas challenging the new farm laws and also those related to the ongoing farmers’ protest at Delhi’s borders are scheduled to come up for hearing in the Supreme Court on 11 January.
The farmer unions, however, have refused to knock on the court’s door. “The farmers have not filed any pleas. Why should we go to the SC for settlement? The government has framed the laws and they will have to repeal it,” Hannan Mollah, general secretary of the All India Kisan Sabha, an umbrella body of 400 farm organisations, told ThePrint.
Mollah said the farmers are going to continue with their protests and go ahead with the kisan parade on tractors planned in Delhi and other state capitals on 26 January.
The two sides met for the eighth time in New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan Friday. While the stalemate continues, the government has decided to hold the next round of talks on 15 January. The farmer unions, however, have not yet decided if they will attend.
Speaking to reporters after the talks ended, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said no agreement could be reached with the farmer unions. “We urged them that if farmer unions give an option other than repealing, we will consider it. But since they did not present any option, we ended the meeting,” he said.
Government sources said they were hopeful of some breakthrough Friday after Lakha Singh, the head of Nanaksar Gurdwara in Kaleran, decided to mediate. He had Thursday met both Tomar and the union leaders in an attempt to break the deadlock.
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Heated scenes at meeting
Sources said Friday’s meeting witnessed heated exchanges between farmer leaders and the government interlocutors, which apart from Tomar, included Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and junior Commerce Minister Som Prakash.
“The agriculture minister told the union leaders that the government had in the last few days held consultations with various farm organisations and other stakeholders and majority of them said the three farm laws are good,” a government source told ThePrint. “Some of the union leaders reacted to this strongly and told the minister that he should then go and talk to those farm organisations only and not come to them. The leaders said the three laws are death knell for farmers.”
With the farmers remaining insistent that the government should discuss only about repeal of the three laws and not digress, the government decided to end the meeting.
“The government has refused to repeal the laws and again kept talking about amendments,” Jagmohan Singh Patiala, general secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Dakonda), told ThePrint. “We reiterated that we don’t want amendments, and will only accept a total repeal. They then said they will not repeal the laws and the matter can only be settled in the Supreme Court.”
Thousands of farmers have been protesting at Delhi’s various borders for over a month in protest against the three laws that the government has said will reform the agriculture sector. Among other things, the laws will allow farmers to sell their produce outside government-controlled agriculture markets.
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There are 65 Crore farmers in India and only few thousand, and that, too, from Punjab and a small number from Haryana are protesting. They want to keep producing wheat and paddy even beyond what we need. They are not bothered of huge excess stock that is being thrown to dogs at the tax payer’s cost. They simply want this cosy system to go on without any demand and supply equation. On top of that, they want this corrupt mandi system to continue. On the other hand, there is huge shortage of pulses, vegetables and fruit which the nation is forced to import, again at the tax payer’s cost. Besides, this mandi and MSP system benefits only six percent of farmers most of whom have become rich and are enjoying life without paying income tax. They do not represent the entire farmer fraternity at all. Selfish Congress is taking their side only to oppose Modi. For the first time, we have someone who is trying to do long term things which will do us some good, but this one dynastic party would try its best to do dirty politics and try ruling us like the British did.
NO BJP next time
No BJP goverment next time As simple as that
There has been adequate response from the center to find a solution, if none is seen coming then the next step has to be the SC. There the constitutional validity of the law will be tested. The agitation pressure tactics will also be examined. Can one one set of agitators indefinitely disrupt the lives of others?
Respect for a democratically elected government has to be accepted. Throw this government out during the next election and change the law. The problem is not one of the agitation leaders or supporters are capable of winning the required support. This type of agitation is only possible because of the proximity to Delhi.
Trump had to concede be cause it was in conformity with the law. So now our issue in the SC will get the final resolution.
THANK GOD WE DO NOT HAVE PEOPLE DEFIYNG THE SC RULING_
I dont like the income tax law – really I mean it as I never see my hard earned money being put to use. I am going to protest to repeal the law. Next I want Paneer Tikka masala to be the national dish and Bhangra to be the national dance. I will protest otherwise
What a mock on democracy.
Maybe you can go to “Sulabh International” and eat your paneer tikka masala, fresh from the source. By the way, mockery of democracy is what the Government is doing, in the surreptitious manner in which they passed the laws. If you have the 🏀🏀, protest by all means!
Unfortunately the farmers from Punjab and Haryana are putting themselves in a bad light. You cant say its my way or high way. The public sentiment is slowly turning against them?
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