The farmer unions and the government held the ninth round of talks today, which turned out to be inconclusive and the next date that has been decided to resume the discussion is January 19. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, “Today’s talks with farmers unions were not decisive. We are positive to reach a solution through talks. The government is concerned about the farmers protesting in cold conditions.”

The three laws were discussed in detail today, as well as two new amendments in the three laws. There were no breakthroughs in today’s talks but the Centre seems hopeful. Rakesh Tikait, BKU spokesperson said, “Our demands of repealing of the three farm laws & MSP guarantee remain. We will not go to the Committee constituted by the Supreme Court. We’ll talk to Central Government only”.

The Supreme Court on January 11 heard a bunch of pleas regarding the laws and set up a four-member panel to help resolve the deadlock. BKU President, Bhupinder Singh Mann and chairman of All India Kisan Coordination Committee has recused himself from the court-appointed panel and by saying, “I will always stand with my farmers and Punjab”.

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Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had said that the talks will be done with ‘an open mind’. He also added, “The government’s ninth round of negotiations with protesting farmer unions will take place as scheduled on Friday and the Centre is hopeful of positive discussions”. The farmer unions have maintained that they were ready to attend the scheduled talks with the government, even as they have said they do not want to appear before the court-appointed panel and have also questioned its composition.

Union Agriculture Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar, Railways, Commerce and Food Minister, Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce, Som Parkash, who is also an MP from Punjab, held talks with the representatives of around 40 farmer unions at the Vigyan Bhawan today.

The deadlock has continued for a long time as the farmers’ agitation began on November 26. Since then, every meeting has been inconclusive, with unions steadfast in their demand for repeal of the laws. The government, on the other hand, has agreed to significant concessions, but is unwilling to repeal the laws.

There has also been news of a fundraising drive abroad, which is being done in the name of farmers’ protest. This fundraising drive is taking place in countries like Italy, UK, Canada and Pakistan. Sources are saying that the SFG will try to incite the farmers and the aim of this drive is to disrupt the Republic Day parade and embarrass the government.

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