‘Talks will be held on all issues; hope farm stir ends today’: Union minister Som Prakash

With all eyes set for the sixth round of talks between the Centre and protesting farmers which will take place this afternoon, Union minister Som Prakash said that he hopes the talks would be decisive and the ongoing agitation against the three farm reforms ends today. He added that talks would be held on all issues, including on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) policy which has been the tipping point of the protest.

Prakash is one of the three representatives of the Centre who have been holding talks with the farmers, the other two being agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar and railway minister Piyush Goyal.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Prakash said, “We hope that the talks will be decisive. Talks will be held on all issues including MSP with an open heart. I hope that farmers’ agitation ends today.” Prakash, along Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Union railway minister Piyush Goyal has been a part of negotiations with several farmer groups since the beginning of the stalemate.

Meanwhile, Sukhwinder Singh Sabra, joint secretary of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (Punjab) told ANI that today’s meet won’t lead to any solution and further demanded the removal of the three laws passed by Parliament in September.

“Five rounds of talks between farmers and govt have taken place. We don’t think we will reach a solution even today. The three farm laws should be repealed,” he said.

Today’s meet comes after agriculture secretary Sanjay Agrawal had written to the farm leaders on Monday in response to their email on December 26 where they had agreed to restart a dialogue. On Tuesday, ministers Tomar and Goyal had met Union home minister Amit Shah.

Five rounds of talks have been held between the Centre and farmer groups which remained inconclusive. While the government is hoping for an early solution to end the deadlock and has proposed several amendments including a written assurance on MSP, the protesting farmers have maintained that would only leave the protest sites once the laws are revoked.

(With agency inputs)

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