The seventh round of talks between protesting unions and government ended inconclusively on Monday as the farmers remained adamant on the repeal of the three contentious farm laws. The next meeting has been scheduled for January 8. After about one hour of discussions, the two sides took a long break, during which representatives of protesting farmers had their own food, arranged from langar. Unlike the last round of talks on December 30, the ministers did not join the union leaders for the langar food and were seen having their own discussion separately during the break, which went on for almost two hours. At 5.15 pm, the two sides resumed their discussions, but no breakthrough could be achieved as the talks remained focussed on the farmers’ demand for the repeal of the acts.
- Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Railways, Commerce and Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash, who is an MP from Punjab, held the talks with the representatives of 41 farmer unions at the Vigyan Bhawan.
- The meeting began with paying respects to the farmers who lost their lives during the ongoing protest.
- In Monday’s talks, the two sides did not discuss another key demand of farmers for a legal guarantee to the Minimum Support Price (MSP) procurement system.
- During the meeting, the government listed various benefits from the three laws. However, farmers stuck to their demand of repealing the legislation.
- During the sixth round of talks on December 30, some common ground was reached on two demands — decriminalisation of stubble burning and continuation of power subsidies.
- On Sunday, Tomar met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and discussed the government strategy to resolve the current crisis at the earliest. He discussed with Singh all possible options to find a “middle path” to resolve the crisis.