The government is ready to resume talks with protesting farmers if they respond to its offer to put the three contentious farm laws on hold for one-and-a-half year and work out the difference during that time through a joint committee, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said.
The government and unions representing farmers, who have been camping at Delhi’s border for about three months in protest against the three laws that they see will end state procurement of crops at MSP, have held 11 rounds of talks, the last being on January 22. Talks broke after widespread violence during a tractor rally by protesting farmers on January 26.
Speaking on the sidelines of an event in the capital, Tomar said the government is committed towards the interest of farmers and agriculture, and under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it is making efforts to double farmers’ income and strengthen the Indian agriculture sector.
The minister was replying to a query on Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait threatening to march to the Parliament on 40 lakh tractors if laws are not repealed.
Tomar said, “Bharat sarkar kisano se puri samvedana ke saath charcha karti rahi hai. Aaj bhi jab unka koi mat aayega, toh Bharat sarkar hamesha kisano ke saath charcha karne ko taiyaar hai (The government has been holding discussions with farmers sympathetically. Even today, whenever their response comes, the government is always ready to hold talks).”