Farmer protests: Talks end in deadlock, govt seeks time for concrete proposal

New Delhi: The government on Saturday proposed to hold another meeting on December 9 with representatives of protesting farmers, as their fifth round of talks ended in a deadlock with the farmers’ group going on a ‘maun vrat‘ (vow of silence) seeking a clear ‘yes or no‘ answer to their demand of repealing three farm laws.

Sources said the government proposed another round of meeting on December 9 next week as it sought some time from the unions to present a concrete proposal after further consultations within the government.

Agriculture Ministry later tweeted that the fifth round of talks has ended.

Union leaders said they do not want anything less than the complete repeal of the laws, which they claim are the laws meant to end the mandi system and minimum support price procurement system to give for benefits of corporates.

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During the meeting, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar also appealed to the union leaders to send back the elderly, women and children to their homes from the protest sites.

Thousands of farmers are protesting on various borders of the national capital since November 26, seeking repeal of three farm laws enacted in September.

As their meeting with three union ministers, including Tomar, Piyush Goyal and Som Parkash, continued for more than four hours, farmer leaders told the government to reply in “black and white” that whether it will repeal the laws or not.

Gurlabh Singh Mahal, legal advisor to Punjab Kisan Union, said the farmer leaders wanted the government to answer in ‘Yes or No‘ and decided to go on a ‘maun vrat‘ after the government did not reply to their pinpointed demand.

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Some farmer leaders present in the meeting were seen putting finger on their lips and holding a paper written ‘Yes or No‘ on that.

During a break earlier in the day, the farmers’ group decided to have their own food and tea, as they did on Thursday during the fourth round of talks.

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