Parleys finish on bitter be aware, however govt constructive

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 4

Battle-hardened farmers on Monday wore off the government as they refused to participate in discussions on the minimum support price (MSP) until repeal of farm laws was brought to the table.

By the end of the seventh round of talks, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar is learnt to have told the assembly of protesters, “So you will not agree to anything other than repeal?”

As the meeting ended on a bitter note, it was clear to both sides that the battle of nerves was now all about who would blink first.

The government got a clear hint today that the agitators treated “farm law repeal” as non-negotiable and nothing that it said or did would make a difference to the tenor of talks. “The positive sign is we are still engaged with farmers and have not hit the wall,” a government source said, adding that agitations could not be “indefinite or inconclusive and must seek to achieve a result”.

Not hopeful of any resolution: Unions

With the stalemate continuing through four hours today, the government proposed January 8 as the date for the next meeting, while farmer unions said they were not hopeful of any resolution.

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