The ninth round of the government-farmer talks at the Vigyan Bhawan here on Friday ended in a stalemate, but both sides agreed to meet again on Tuesday, Jan 19.
The farmers rejected the request of Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar once again to end the ongoing protests at Delhi's borders for the last 51 days with Rakesh Tikait, leader of the Western UP farmers, said if a government can be elected to rule for five years, the farmers will also agitate for five years and the government should know its implication in the next elections.
A farmer leader protested at the meeting with the government on planting false reports that 81-year-old Punjab farmer leader Bhupinder Singh Mann guiding the Punjab farmers for many years withdrew from the SC nominated panel because of the threats of the Khalistanis among the demonstrators and from Canada. He said the government should better know Mann has led many farmers' agitations and he won't get frightened from the Khalistani elements as he did not bother about them even at the height of the terrorism in the state.
Both sides did not budge from their respective stands: Government ruling out repeal of the farm laws and the farmers' union ready for nothing except repeal of the laws. The meeting was held in two phases. In the second phase after the lunch, the ministers sounded the union leaders on the government's inclination to enact a law in the coming Parliament session for a guaranteed MSP, but with a rider they withdraw the demand for repeal of the laws and better suggest controversial issues in them which could be amended. The unions, however, refused to lower demands.
-- SC to take up pleas connected to laws on Monday
-- BS Hooda, several other Haryana Cong leaders detained during march
-- UPCC president, Cong workers detained in UP; SP slams BJP govt over farm laws
-- Rahul seeks public support for campaign in favour of farmers, against fuel prices
Congress holds ‘Kisan Adhikar Diwas’
In support of the agitating farmers against the farm laws, the Congress on Friday organised the 'Kisan Adhikar Diwas' (Farmers' rights day) in all state capitals by holding demonstrations outside the governor houses (Raj Bhawans) and submitting memoranda to ask the Modi government to repeal the laws forthwith. At many places, including Chandigarh, the police used force and water cannons to prevent the demonstrators from submitting their memoranda to the governors.
In Delhi, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, an AICC general secretary, joined the Congress workers in holding a demonstration before the Raj Niwas, the office-cum-residence of Delhi's Lt Governor Anil Baijal, but the police dispersed them citing the prohibitory orders. Rahul and Priyanka later drove down to Janpath where some party MPs are staging a protest in support of the farmers for the last one-and-a-half months. Addressing the gathering there, Rahul said the three farm laws are to "finish" the farmers and not to help them as claimed by the government.
He said the PM should understand India achieved freedom because of the farmers and not because of Ambani and Adani. The farmers have sustained India's independence all these decades, but that independence will vanish the day the country's food