Farmers protest: After marathon meeting, Centre comes out with key proposals; round 11 talks tomorrow

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New Delhi | January 21, 2021 10:53 AM

The farmer union leaders have said that they will hold internal consultation to consider the government's new proposal.

farmers protest latest updateThe government and farmer union leaders have agreed to meet again tomorrow for the 11th round of talks. (PTI)

The Narendra Modi government took a step to end the nearly two-month-long impasse caused by farmers protesting on Delhi borders against the newly enacted farm laws. Yielding some ground for more negotiations after Wednesday’s marathon meeting, the government offered to suspend the three contentious farm laws for around 18 months, a proposal farmer unions didn’t directly reject. The Centre also proposed to set up a joint committee to find a mutually agreed solution to the issue. The farmer union leaders have said that they will hold internal consultation to consider the government’s new proposal.

Talking to the media after the around five-hour-long meeting, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar informed about the Centre’s proposal. He said that during the period when farm laws will be on hold, a joint committee consisting of representatives from the government and farmers’ side can continue talks to reach an agreement. He added that those sitting at protest sites in this chilling winter can return to their homes.

The two sides have agreed to meet again tomorrow for the 11th round of talks.

Notably, the Supreme Court had already put a stay on the three farm laws till further orders. The apex court had also set up an expert committee to resolve the deadlock but the farmer unions have refused to appear before the committee. The panel has been entrusted with the responsibility to submit a report to the court within two months. The SC-appointed committee is expected to consult with farmer groups from today onwards.

The joint committee as proposed by the Centre will work alongside the SC-appointed panel. The agriculture minister said that the modalities of the panel proposed by the Centre can be finalised only after the two sides reach an in-principle agreement on the proposal.

Reacting to the Centre’s proposal, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan said that though they have rejected the proposal but since it is from the government, the farmer leaders will meet today to consider the proposal.

Another farmer leader Kavitha Kuruganti informed that the government had proposed to submit an affidavit in the apex court with regards to suspending the three farm laws.

The government reiterated its offer to amend three farm laws even during yesterday’s meeting but farmer leaders stuck to their demand of repealing the laws.

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