Farmer unions need talks with authorities to proceed: Tikait


New Delhi, January 14

Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Thursday said the protesting farmer unions would attend the scheduled ninth round of talks with the government and asserted it was necessary to continue the dialogue to resolve the deadlock and end the agitation.

While the previous eight rounds of negotiations have failed to end the protests continuing for several weeks on various borders of the national capital, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said earlier in the day that the government was hopeful of positive discussions at Friday’s scheduled meeting.

Tikait also said the protesting unions would attend the meeting with Union Ministers on Friday.

Also read: Tractor march from Delhi borders on January 26 to be peaceful, says Rajewal

Asked if unions had any hope from the Friday meeting, Tikait said: “Let’s see what happens tomorrow. But our meetings will continue with the government till our protest ends as it is necessary.”          

“We will not oppose the meetings with the government,” the BKU leader said when asked whether the Friday talks could be the last one if there was no solution.

Tomar had said, “The government is ready to hold talks with farmers’ leaders with an open mind.”

Also read: Bhupinder Mann recuses himself from SC panel on farm laws

Clearing the confusion over the fate of the ninth round of talks, the union leader said the talks between the government and the union representatives would take place as scheduled for 12 pm on January 15.

The Supreme Court had on January 11 appointed a four-member panel to resolve the impasse. However, a key member of the proposed committee subsequently recused himself.

The farmer unions have been maintaining that they are ready to attend the scheduled talks with the government, even as they have said they did not want to appear before the court-appointed panel and had also questioned its composition.

Also read: Govt-farmers talks to take place as scheduled on Friday; Tomar says hopeful of positive discussion

Earlier in the day, Bhartiya Kisan Union president Bhupinder Singh Mann said he was recusing himself from the four-member committee.

Farmer unions and opposition parties had called it a “pro-government” panel, insisting that its members have been in favour of the three laws in the past. PTI



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