Talks remain deadlocked between Indian farmers and the government

A ninth round of talks between the Indian government and protesting farmers over three new contentious farm laws made no headway, but a government’s minister and union leaders said they would resume the discussions soon.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has said that the laws introduced in September will unshackle farmers from the obligation of selling products only at regulated wholesale markets. But the farmers say the bills are designed to benefit private buyers. According to Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, “Today’s talks with farmers unions were inconclusive, and we will hold talks again on Jan 19.” “We are sure that we’ll be able to agree to our talks.” In addition to that, Tomar said the government was concerned about the health of farmers who have been camping on the outskirts of the capital, New Delhi, in protest for nearly two months. Farmers’ around-the-clock sit-ins in cold weather have already led to some deaths among them. One of the farmers’ leaders who attended the meeting with ministers, Rakesh Tikait, said, “We are committed to finding a solution through our dialogues with the government, and that’s why we’ve again agreed to  meet on Jan 19.” Farmers have threatened to march to Delhi on Jan 26, when India celebrates its Republic Day. The Supreme Court has ordered an indefinite stay on implementing the new laws and appointed a four-member panel to hear farmers’ objections.

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