Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar meets Amit Shah before 8th round of talks with Farmer Unions


PTI, Jan 8, 2021, 4:53 PM IST

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday met senior BJP leader and Home Minister Amit Shah, just before the start of the eighth round of talks with protesting farmer unions on the three farm laws, sources said. The meeting continued for about an hour, they said, but what issues came up for discussion in the meeting could not be ascertained. Tomar is leading the talks with the representatives of around 40 farmer unions at the Vigyan Bhawan to resolve the over-one-month deadlock over the three farm laws.

Railways, Commerce and Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash are also part of the discussions from the government side. On January 4, the seventh round of talks ended inconclusively as unions stuck to their demand for a complete repeal of the three farm laws, while the government wanted to discuss only “problematic” clauses or other alternatives to end the stalemate.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at various Delhi borders for over a month against the three laws despite cold weather. Enacted in September last year, the government has presented these laws as major farm reforms and aimed at increasing farmers’ income, but the protesting farmers have raised concerns that these legislations would weaken the minimum support price (MSP) and “mandi” (wholesale market) systems and leave them at the mercy of big corporations.

The government has maintained that these apprehensions are misplaced and has ruled out repealing the laws.

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