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Finally, Centre, farmers talk, next meeting on Thursday

The meeting between farmer representatives and the Central government remained inconclusive on Tuesday as both parties failed to come to an understanding. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the meeting was good and the government will continue its dialogue with the protesting farmers. The next dialogue between protesters and the government will taken place on December 3. Farmer representatives said they will continue to explain to the government why the farmers feel that none of the changes introduced in the farm laws will benefit them.

Earlier today, the 32 farm unions accepted Centre’s offer to hold talks as their protest entered its sixth consecutive day. A large contingent of farmers are stationed on several points of entry into Delhi in a bid to convince the Centre to repeal the laws.

The delegations arrived statewise for discussions with farmers from Punjab arriving at Vigyan Bhawan for a dialogue with Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal. Later, the government held meetings with delegations from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Haryana. Earlier on Sunday, the farmers had rejected the Centre’s offer after the government had stressed them to move to the Burari grounds in New Delhi

Before meeting the farmers, Tomar had said that the government is ready to resolve the farmers issue but talks cannot happen on roads and the farmers needed to sit across the table to find a solution to the problem. The decision to hold talks with farmers have come after the Centre’s decision that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will hold talks with farmers. Earlier on Monday, Home Minister Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and Tomar met at BJP chief JP Nadda’s residence for a second meeting to resolve the issue.

Addressing the farmers at Ghazipur-Ghaziabad border, Naresh Tikait, the president of Bharatiya Kisaan Union, said the farmers want a final decision on matter. However, some groups are upset with the government’s decision. Punjab Kisan Sangarsh Committee’s joint secretary Sukhvinder S Sabhran said that there are more than 500 groups of farmers in the country, but the Centre has invited only 32 groups for talks.

The protesters have got worldwide support from celebrities, actors, singers and political leaders. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday extended his support to farmers. He said Canada would always be there to defend the rights of the farmers and believe in the process of dialogue. He assured the farmers that he would try to reach out to the Indian authorities to highlight and raise their concerns. The Ministry of External Affairs has not taken Trudeau’s remarks well.

Police detained Bilkis Bano, 82, who emerged as the face of Shaheen Bagh’s anti-Citizenship Act protest, as she was reaching Singhu border to join farmers’ protest. She said she wanted to join the farmers to express her solidarity since she was a farmer’s daughter. She said the government should listen to the farmers.

Also Read: BJP Haryana ally warns Centre over farmer protests, Ajay Chautala demands solution

The farmers, mostly from Haryana and Punjab, are protesting since last week against the newly passed farm laws. They have been camping in and around Delhi demanding that the laws should be repealed by the Centre.

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