File photo of a meeting between framers' representatives and the Centre (Image credit: Mint)

Government-farmers talks appear to be heading for dead-end

The sixth round of talks between farmers’ union and the Centre —fourth since Nov 26—scheduled on December 9 virtually stands cancelled after the meeting between a section of farmers union and Union home minister Amit Shah, who was assisted by agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar late on December 8 night failed to yield any result.

The Tuesday late night talks, not previously scheduled, failed to achieve any objective as the farmers kept demanding that all the three farm laws  be scrapped whereas the government was in no mood to accept this condition.

Reports said that the government had climbed down a bit and have agreed to make some amendments in these laws. It has also offered to assure the farmers in writing on Dec 9. A written proposal will be sent to the farmers in this regard.

The farmers union were a bit perplexed by the way the government first offered to hold talks but then shifted the venue thrice. Initially, the talks were to be held in the office but subsequently shifted to the house of Amit Shah. Finally, it took place at ICAR guest house in Pusa Road at 9:00 PM—to hours after the scheduled time. The talks lasted for more than two hours. The home minister reportedly met different farmers’ group separately. Not only that, instead of forty only 13 farmer leaders were called. Reports also say that two farmer leaders could not reach the venue of the talks because of confusion between 7:00 AM and 9:00 PM. This had annoyed farmers’ unions.

Amit Shah had taken the centre-stage only after a largely successful India-wide shutdown.

According to the leader of Swaraj India Yogendra Yadav, the bandh evoked historic response in at least 10,000 places across 25 states of the country.

Curiously, the farmers’ union leaders have not met defence minister Rajnath Singh though initially he was supposed to be the chief negotiator. Instead, Amit Shah is playing a more crucial role.

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