Government, farmers break bread, not much ice

Representational Image. Photo source: twitter / @FDI_org

The government and farm unions reached some common ground on Wednesday to resolve protesting farmers’ concerns over rise in power tariff and penalties for stubble burning, but the two sides remained deadlocked over the main contentious issues of the repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee for MSP.

After nearly five hours of the sixth round of negotiations between three union ministers and a 41-member representative group of thousands of farmers protesting on Delhi borders, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said at least 50 per cent resolution has been reached with mutual agreement on two out of four items on the agenda and discussions would continue on the remaining two on January 4 at 2 PM.

He also hoped that the new year will herald new solutions and asserted that the Modi government has always been sensitive to farmers’ issues. “Discussions on the three farm laws and MSP are not complete and will continue in the next round of talks… We are hopeful that consensus would be reached for resolving the two remaining issues also,” Tomar told reporters after the meeting, which saw the two sides breaking the bread but not much ice.