8th round of Govt-farmer talks begins, seeking to resolve impasse

New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) Amid the ongoing farmers protest, the eighth round of dialogue between the government and 41 farm union representatives began here on Friday, with both sides hoping for a successful conversation to yield results and end the over one-and-a-half-month deadlock.

The government began the talks signalling an outcome of positive results from the meeting while the farmers threatened to intensify the stir if their demand to repeal three contentious farm laws is not fulfilled.

So far there is no official assurance from both sides if they will choose another way to end the impasse and they are still stiking to their points.

The meeting began at Vigyan Bhawan in the presence of Agriculture Minister Narendra Sigh Tomar, Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Som Parkash from the government’s side. Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal and other Ministry officials also attended the meeting.

Krantikari Kisan Union President (Punjab) Darshan Pal, Bharatiya Kisan Union’s Jagjeet Singh Dalewal and Balbir Singh Rajewal, Jamhuri Kishan Sabha Punjab General Secretary Kulwant Singh, and Bharatiya Kisan Union (Uttar Pradesh) President Rakesh Tikait were among the 41 farm union leaders who partipated in the meeting.

Farmer leader Gurbaksa Singh Barnala said that the farmers will intensify the stir and enter Delhi on Republic Day if their demands are not met. “There is no way forward but to repeal the three laws.”

After seven rounds of inconclusive talks, the government hopes this meeting will be “decisive” to end the agitation against three contentious new agricultural legislations enacted in September during the Monsoon Session of Parliament. The repeal of these laws is the principal demand of the farmers on which they are adamant.

Union Ministers Tomar and Goyal met senior BJP leader and Home Minister Amit Shah before the fresh round of talks began, expressing the hope that a “resolution will come out in the meeting”.

In a tweet, MoS Som Parkash earlier said, “Hopeful that the Jan 8 talks will yield results, end stir.”

The meeting agenda, according to the government, includes “modalities for the repeal of the three Central farm acts and mechanisms to be adopted to make remunerative MSP (Minimum Support Price) recommended by the National Farmers’ Commission into a legally guaranteed entitlement for all farmers and all agricultural commodities”.

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