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9th round of talks fails ‘120%’

AGENCIES 

New Delhi, Jan 15: The ninth round of discussion between farmers demanding repeal of the three agriculture laws and the centre held days after the Supreme Court stayed their enactment “until fur-ther orders” — ended today with no progress towards ending the stalemate.

 “It was a 120 per cent failure. We suggested that the government remove the changes made to the Essential Commodities Act instead of scrapping it altogether. But the Agriculture Minister has not said anything on this,”

 farmer leader Dr Darshanpal said. Farmer leader Joginder Singh Ugrahan told reporters after the meeting that the unions urged the government to repeal the three laws, but the Centre was un-willing to do so. “We decided to meet 

Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar and other dignitaries during the ninth round of talks with farmer leaders over the new farm laws at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi Pll PHOTO again January 19 at 12 pm

,” he said. Ugrahan said the union leaders also raised the issue of NIA raids on trans-porters in Punjab who are supporting farmers’ protests and were providing lo-gistic support for the agitation. At the meeting that lasted for nearly five hours, including a lunch break, farmers unions said they are commit-ted to continuing hokling direct talks to resolve the over-one-month-long dead-lock over three agri laws,

 even as a com-mittee has been formed by the Supreme Court to resolve the deadlock. hi his opening remarks, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar urged farmer leaders to be flexible in their ap-proach as has been done by the govermnent. Besides Tomar, Railways, Commerce and Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash were part of the government side talking with rep-resentatives of around 40 farmer unions at the Vigyan Bhawan here.

 “Both the government and farmer unions have reaffirmed their com-mitment to continue with the direct di-alogue process,” All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee member Kavita Kuruganti, who is part of the meeting, said. 

“In his opening remarks, Tomar ji said you keep saying that the govern-ment is adamant and making it an issue of ego, even though we have ac-cepted several demands. Don’t you think you should be flexible and not stick to one single demand of repeal-ing the laws,” said Balj it Singh Bali of Punjab Kisan Morcha. Farmer leader Darshan Pal said there was a good dis-cussion on all three laws. “There is a possibility of some resolution. We are positive,” he added.k 

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