The Samyukt Kisan Morcha on Wednesday said the Centre told farmers that the government was willing to suspend the three new farm laws for one-and-a-half years, and set up a committee to look into the future course of action over the legislations. The proposal was made during the tenth round of talks between the two sides.
The next round of negotiations will be held on Friday.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre on an application filed by a farmers’ group seeking the reconstitution of the committee to help resolve the deadlock over the new laws. The court also refused to pass orders on the Centre’s petition to stop the farmers’ planned tractor rally on Republic Day.
Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping out on the outskirts of Delhi for nearly two months. The farmers believe that the new laws undermine their livelihood and open the path for the corporate sector to dominate the agricultural sector. The government, on the other hand, maintains that the new laws will give farmers more options in selling their produce, lead to better pricing, and free them from unfair monopolies.
Here are the top updates of the day:
8.31 pm: The Union Agriculture minister says during the talks with the farmers the Centre has said it was ready to put the implementation of the three new farm laws on hold for one or one-and-a-half years. “I am happy that farmer unions have taken this very seriously and said that they would consider it tomorrow and convey their decision on January 22,” Tomar says, reports ANI.
8.29 pm: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar tells ANI: “I feel that talks are progressing in the right direction and there is a possibility of finding a resolution on January 22.”
8.27 pm: “The farmer unions will discuss the government’s proposal at the Singhu border tomorrow [Thursday],” Kuruganti says. The farmer leaders will reply to the government’s offer on Friday around 12 pm, she adds.
8.26 pm: “At one point during the discussion, this committee was being projected as one that will look at the MSP [minimum support price] demand also, but towards the end of the meeting, it was specifically about the three laws,” the farm union representative adds.
8.22 pm: Kuruganti says that the Centre is talking about a committee that will make its recommendations on the future of these laws “whether they should be amended, or repealed...will come from the suggestions of such a committee”.
8.19 pm: Kuruganti adds: “...and to increase the farmer unions trust and belief that they are very serious and sincere about the suspension idea, they are willing to do this through an undertaking in the Supreme Court along with it they are talking about forming a committee and no detail of the committee has been worked out.”
8.12 pm: Kavitha Kuruganti, a representative of the Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch, and the only woman delegate on the farm unions’ team taking part in negotiations with the Centre, says the government has offered to suspend the implementation of the three laws for one to one and a half years.
7.56 pm: All India Kisan Sabha General Secretary Hannan Mollah says that besides filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court that would put the new laws on hold, the government has also offered to form a panel to look into the minimum support price regime, reports ANI. “We will hold a meeting tomorrow and take a decision on the proposal,” he adds.
7.47 pm: Another farmer leader tells ANI that the unions have categorically made it clear to the government that they want the withdrawal of the laws as there is no point in suspending them.
7.44 pm: Farmer leaders say unions are firm on their demand for repeal of laws, but will still discuss the Centre’s proposal for suspension of the three Acts, reports PTI.
7.40 pm: During the meeting, the government proposed to submit affidavit in the Supreme Court for suspending three farm laws for a mutually-agreed period of time and set up a committee, according to PTI.
7.35 pm: The tenth round of talks between farm unions and the government ends, reports ANI. The next round of negotiations will be held on Friday.
6.51 pm: At today’s meeting, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar told farmers’ leaders that government is willing to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court “to dispel any doubts in the minds of farmer unions”, reports ANI, quoting unidentified officials.
6.48 pm: Unidentified officials told PTI that during this round of discussions, the government proposed to keep the three farm laws suspended for a fixed time period of one year, and form a committee comprising of farmer union leaders and government representatives. The ministers proposed that the laws would remain suspended till the committee gives its report.
In the meantime, they asked the farmers to end their agitation. The proposal, however, did not find any support from the farm leaders.
6.45 pm: Protests against the new agricultural legislations will continue, as the tenth round of talks between farmers’ leaders and the central government once again failed to yield any results, reports PTI.
The government stuck to its position, and offered to amend the three farm laws, but farmers remained adamant on their demand for a complete repeal of the reforms. They accused the Centre of avoiding discussion on a legal guarantee for minimum support price.
5 pm: Senior Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar have been detained along with others as they were on their way to Raj Bhavan to lay siege to it to protest the agricultural laws, reports PTI.
“The Yediyurappa government and the police are trying to disrupt the peaceful protests, which I strongly condemn,” says Siddaramaiah.
4.09 pm: Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee head Majinder Sirsa says the government should mark Guru Gobind Singh’s birth anniversary by repealing the three contentious farm laws, PTI reports.
3.48 pm: Farmers’ groups reject the Delhi Police’s suggestion to hold their proposed Republic Day tractor rally on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway instead of the Capital’s busy Outer Ring Road, PTI reports, citing unidentified officials.
3.01 pm: Three Union ministers start the tenth round of talks with representatives of farmer groups, reports PTI.
2.26 pm: Union ministers arrive at Vigyan Bhawan.
2.07 pm: A delegation of farm leaders arrive at Vigyan Bhawan for the tenth round of talks with the Centre.
1.31 pm: The Supreme Court says that the purpose of the expert panel was to only hear the grievances of the farmers, adding that it did not have adjudicatory powers, according to Live Law. “Where is the question of bias?” the court asks.
1.27 pm: The Supreme Court says it cannot compel the farmers to appear before the committee. “But you cannot malign people like this and cast aspersions on them and also the court,” the chief justice says, according to Live Law. “If you don’t want to appear, don’t appear. Why do you need to brand people like this?”
1.24 pm: The court rebukes the farmers’ unions for raising questions about the experts on the panel. “The basis of your application is that all four people [experts] are disqualified,” the court says. “How do you come to that conclusion? They are brilliant minds in the field of agriculture. They are experts. How do you malign them because they have expressed some views in the past?”
1.21 pm: The chief justice expresses disappointment over the controversy surrounding the expert panel. “We don’t understand this,” Bobde says, according to Live Law. “The Supreme Court appoints a committee and their reputation is torn to shreds! Anyway, we are issuing notice on this petition.”
1.11 pm: The Supreme Court also issues notice on the application filed by the Kisan Mahapanchayat seeking the reconstitution of the committee to help resolve the deadlock over the new laws. It asks the Centre to respond to the notice.
12.59 pm: The Supreme Court refuses to pass orders on the farmers’ planned tractor rally on Republic, saying the decision is up to the police, Live Law reports.
12.12 pm: Bhartiya Kisan Union Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait says the Centre has to introduce a legislation on Minimum Support Price and repeal the three farm laws, ANI reports. “Our protest is against the government and the corporate system,” he adds.
12.05 pm: The leaders of farmers’ unions arrive at the Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi for a meeting with the police over their planned tractor march on Republic Day, ANI reports. Bharatiya Kisan Union chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni says they have already told the police that they won’t face any disturbance because of the rally.
“We’ve told them that we’ll hold tractor march at Ring Road, they should accept it,” Chaduni adds. “We’ll have further information after meet.”
11.13 am: Aam Aadmi Party’s Punjab unit announces that it will join the farmers’ tractor rally in Delhi on Republic Day, The Indian Express reports.
11.08 am: Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav says Republic Day presents a great opportunity for the Centre to repeal the farming laws and show its commitment to constitutional values, Hindustan Times reports.
11.01 am: The leaders of farmers’ unions will meet top Delhi Police officials to discuss the planned tractor rally on January 26, PTI reports, citing Kisan Union leader Kalwant Singh Sandhu.
9.10 am: Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said on Tuesday that a person cannot be disqualified from being a member of a committee just because they have earlier expressed an opinion on the subject that is under consideration by the panel. He was indirectly referring to the four-member committee created by the Supreme Court to resolve the deadlock between protesting farmers and the Centre on three contentious agricultural laws.
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9 am: The Supreme Court will resume the hearing on the application filed by the Delhi Police seeking a direction to put an injunction on the proposed tractor rally by farmers on Republic Day, reports the Hindustan Times.
8.50 am: The Shimla police say that three farmers who came to the city to protest against the farm laws were arrested, reports ANI. The police add that the farmers were trying to hold a protest at the Ridge Maidan without permission.
8.40 am: Representatives of the farmers’ union and the Centre will hold the tenth round of talks to resolve the deadlock over the three farm laws today.
8.35 am: Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping out on the outskirts of Delhi for nearly two months. The farmers believe that the new laws undermine their livelihood and open the path for the corporate sector to dominate the agricultural sector. The government, on the other hand, maintains that the new laws will give farmers more options in selling their produce, lead to better pricing, and free them from unfair monopolies.
The previous nine rounds of talks have failed to yield any concrete results, as the farmers’ unions have stuck to their main demand for repealing the new laws, while the government has refused to do so and insisted on a clause-wise discussion of the legislations.
8.30 am: Here are the top updates from Tuesday
- Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar will take part in a farmers’ protest in Mumbai’s Azad Maidan on January 25.
- The Supreme Court-appointed committee has invited farmers’ leaders for discussions about the new agricultural laws on January 21. Earlier in the day, the panel held a meeting to chalk out their next course of action.
- Rahul Gandhi said there is only one solution to the farmers’ protest – “Government will have to take back the laws”. The Congress released a booklet on the three farm laws at the party’s headquarters in Delhi.