Even as the eighth round of dialogues between the government and the protesting farmers ended on an inconclusive note on Friday (January 8), the farmers are steadfast in their demand to repeal the three contentious agri laws and have informed the Union Ministers that nothing short of that will be acceptable. The next round of talks are scheduled for January 15.
A photograph taken during the eighth round of the Centre-farmer talks went viral on this day, which showed a farmer leader with a paper that had 'We will either die or win' written on it.
The photograph was posted by news agency ANI from its official handle on Twitter.
Meanwhile, according to reports, the government has informed the farmers' unions that it cannot and will not repeal the farm laws.
The Union Ministers reportedly told the farmers' leaders that the agricultural legislations are for the benefit of the millions of farmers all across India, and not just for the peasants of Punjab and Haryana.
On the other hand, the farmers have countered this argument by saying that every state should be left to bring their own respective legislations on agricultural matters, citing various Supreme Court orders that have declared farming as a state subject.
So far there is no official assurance from both sides if they will choose another way to end the impasse and they are still sticking to their points. The situation is still in the classic "unstoppable force meets immovable object" scenario.
"Our ghar wapsi can happen only if you do 'law wapsi'," a farmer leader was, in the meanwhile, quoted as saying by news agency PTI during the meeting.
After the meting, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Sigh Tomar said, "Discussion on the laws was taken up but no decision could be made. The government urged that if farmer unions give an option other than repealing, we'll consider it. But no option could be presented, so the meeting was concluded and it was decided to hold the next meeting on 15th January."
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 participated in the meeting.