The Indian government on Friday signalled that it would end talks with the farmers unions opposing the farm reform laws as the eleventh round of talks also failed to resolve the nearly-two-month long deadlock.
Hardening its stand, the government said its proposal to stay the implementation of the laws for 18 months “was its best and last offer” and asked the protesting farmers to reconsider the proposal, even as it reiterated that there was no deficiency in the law.
Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar announced the next round of talks will happen only when farmers are ready to talk about the government’s proposal. “We thought of accommodating your concerns, not because there was anything wrong with the proposal. We gave you the best proposal. Unfortunately, you rejected that,” he said at the meeting.
The news reports say that the meeting lasted only 18 minutes and farm leaders were in a separate room for the rest of the time. Tomar clearly and categorically told them that talks will only take place if they wish to discuss on the proposal offered by the government, they said.
The farmers protesting against the three agricultural reform laws had on Thursday rejected the government’s proposal to stay the implementation of the three legislations for one-and-a-half years, and had reiterated their demand for a full repeal of the three laws.
The government had put forward the proposal on Wednesday at the 10th round of negotiations with the farmers’ unions, and it had evoked hope of a breakthrough as this was the first time that farmers did not reject the government offer immediately.