Never said doors for dialogue with farmers shut: Prakash Javadekar

The Union Minister said whatever decisions with regard to talks with farmers are taken, will be disclosed at the right time.

A day after unprecedented violence in Delhi during the tractor parade, the government on Wednesday said it has never stated that the doors for dialogue with farmers are closed and stressed that it will inform whenever the decision is taken for fresh talks.

“We have never said that the doors for dialogue are closed. Have you heard. Whenever talks are held, we will let you know,” Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said, when asked at the Cabinet briefing on whether the doors for talks with farmers are closed now.

After the 11th round of talks on Friday last, the government asked the farmers to reconsider their proposal of holding the three farm laws on hold for 1-1.5 years, but the farmers rejected their proposal. No decision has been taken on another round of talks with farmers.

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He said whatever decisions with regard to talks with farmers are taken, will be disclosed at the right time.

“We have already told you, if there is any change, we will let you know,” he said.

Asked whether Tuesday’s violence was discussed in the meeting of the Union Cabinet, Mr. Javadekar said the Cabinet is different from the security committee.

Asked how he felt personally over the violence, he said, “I feel the same way as you are feeling.” The government’s negotiations with representatives of thousands of protesting farmers hit a roadblock on Friday as the unions squarely rejected the Centre’s proposal to put three contentious laws on hold.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar also blamed external “forces” for their rigid stand and said no resolution is possible when the sanctity of agitation is lost.

How the farmers’ protest lost its way

Unlike the last 10 rounds of talks, the 11th round saw both the sides hardening their positions and could not even reach a decision on the next date for the meeting. The government asked unions to revert by Saturday last in case they agree to the suspension proposal and the talks can continue only thereafter.

Farmer leaders, however, are adamant that they would settle for nothing less than a complete repeal of the laws, enacted in September last year, which they find pro-corporate, and a legal guarantee for the procurement of crops at government-fixed MSP (minimum support price).

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