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11th round of talks on Friday

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New Delhi, Jan 22 (IANS) The 11th round of talks between the government and representatives of protesting farmers on the three contentious farm laws will be held on Friday, two days after the Centre proposed to suspend the agricultural laws for one and half years and had set up a joint panel to discuss the Acts to end the stalemate.

The discussion between the leaders of the farmers’ union and the Centre would begin at 12 noon here at the Vigyan Bhavan.

The farmers, who have threatened to march to Delhi on Republic Day (January 26) if the laws are not scrapped, have been camping on the outskirts of Delhi in protest against the laws.

Before leaving the Singhu border to join the meeting with the government, Harinder Singh Lakhowal, general secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Union, Punjab (Lakhowal group), told IANS that even in this discussion the protesting unions would demand repealing the new laws and provide a legal backing to the minimum support price (MSP).

He said that the farmers on the sit-in protest have rejected the Central government’s proposal to stay the implementation of the new farm laws.

They do not approve the proposal and therefore want all three laws to be repealed, Harinder Singh added.

Gurmeet Singh of Ropar in Punjab, who was among the protestors at the Singhu border, said that the farmers’ movement would continue till all the three farm laws are withdrawn. Farmers have been sitting for nearly two months at the Singhu, Tikri and the Ghazipur borders located in New Delhi.

Asked if the farming work is not being affected by the farmer agitation, Gurmeet Singh said no work of the farmers has been halted. Farming and agriculture work is being done on time and while he is sitting on a dharna (protest), his son is handling all the farming.

In the previous round of talks, the Central government had put forth a proposal to the farmer unions that if the farmers consider withdrawing their agitation, the Central government could postpone the implementation of all the three farm laws for one to 1.5 years and meanwhile by forming a committee of representatives from the Union government and the farmers, the MSP, including all core farmer issues, could be resolved.

The previous rounds of talks between the government and farmers have failed to reach any concrete results, as protesting unions have stuck to their main demand for repealing the new farm laws, but the government has refused to do so.

–IANS

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