As protesting farm leaders meet with Union leaders in Delhi, the government continues to remain hopeful that the deadlock will soon be resolved. A meeting between the Centre and leaders of framer unions protesting at the borders of Delhi against the three agricultural laws is scheduled to start at 2 pm in Delhi's Vigyan Bhawan - the eighth such interaction.
Visuals shared by news agency ANI at around 2:30 pm showed Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal arrive at Vigyan Bhawan. Thus far, the farmers have reached an agreement with the Centre over two issues - permissibility of stubble burning and safeguarding of power subsidies. The topics that will be under discussion today pertain to MSP and the three new farm laws.
"I'm hopeful that a solution to farmers' issue could be found through dialogue. When we'll talk clause by clause then we'll surely arrive at a solution. During initial talks, the leaders of farmer unions said they want amendments in the acts and government is ready for that. We'll definitely address all doubts of farmers," said Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary.
During the course of the protests however the agitating farmers have repeatedly called for the laws to be repealed, rejecting offers of amendment. The last round of talks had remained inconclusive, with Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar stating that a consensus could not be reached as the farmer unions remained "adamant" over repealing of three farm laws.
Since morning, a social media campaign in support of the farmers has been running. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had urged people to join the 'Kisaan Ke Liye Bole Bharat' campaign from 10 am. "Peaceful protests are an integral part of our democracy. Our farmer brothers and sisters are receiving support from all across the country. You should also join along in support of them so that the anti-farmer laws are repealed," he had tweeted.
A day earlier, farmers had struck a warning note, marking their dissent with a tractor rally. They plan to further intensify their protests in the days to come, unless their demands are met.
(With inputs from agencies)