Agitating farmers walk on a waterlogged road at Singhu Border in Delhi. (Credits: PTI)
NEW DELHI: The central government on Monday will hold the next round of talks with the leaders of farmer unions who have been holding protests at different borders of Delhi for more than a month against the three agricultural laws.
This will be the seventh round of talks between the two sides.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary has expressed hope that a solution will be found out in the talks and agitation against three agriculture laws may end as well.
Here are the highlights:
* The working group of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC ) which is an umbrella body of the agitating farmers said that the success of today's talks between the Centre and protesting farmers will depend "entirely on the repeal of the three farm acts".
* The farmers have said that the three farm laws can be repealed by an ordinance, which is neither time consuming nor complicated. They suggested that the ordinance if promulgated, could well be replaced by repeal acts during the Parliament session.
* "If the Narendra Modi government has the will, it is a matter of only a day or two," said the AIKSCC in a statement on Sunday, while noting that the government's "quest for an alternative remedy is a sure recipe for failure".
* On the question of legal guarantee to the minimum support price (MSP) mechanism, farmer leaders are learnt to have discussed the 2018 private member's bill introduced in the Lok Sabha by then MP Raju Shetti of Swabhimani Paksha as a ready reckoner to take forward the talks.
* Farmers said it would save the time-consuming process of a committee formation, which the unions had already rejected.
* The farmers have continued their protest amid waterlogging at the agitation venues due to rains which started Saturday night.Farmers agitating against the Centre's farm laws have been standing strong at Delhi's borders for the last 39 days.
* Amid the ongoing cold wave across North India, farmers agitating against the Centre's farm laws stood strong at the borders of the national capital and continued their protest for the last 39 days.
* So far, six rounds of talks have been held between the central government and the farmer unions. However, the talks failed to end the deadlock over repealing of the three farm laws.
* On December 30, a consensus was reached on two of the four issues: on stubble burning and safeguarding power subsidies. However, the deadlock continued over the two main demands, legal assurance on MSP and complete rollback of the three farm laws.
Why are farmers protesting
With concerns that farm laws would weaken the MSP and mandi systems and leave the farmers at the mercy of big corporates, farmers have been protesting at different borders of the national capital for over a month against the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
Maintaining that the apprehensions are misplaced, the government has ruled out repealing the laws and asked farmer leaders to hold a discussion on clause by clause of the laws.
(With inputs from agencies)