February 29, 2024

New Delhi:

After the meeting between the farmer union leaders and the government ended in a stalemate with no common ground in sight, Union Minister Arjun Munda on Monday said he remains hopeful of a breakthrough, adding that the Centre wants to arrive at a resolution through dialogue.

Speaking to the reporters here after holding a fresh round of talks with the protesting farmer leaders, the Union Minister informed that while a breakthrough wasn’t achieved, a broad consensus was reached on most of the issues of contention.

“We held extensive and exhaustive deliberations with the farmers on every issue. The government is engaged in a dislogue with all the stakeholders and wants to resolve all disputes through talks. We reached a broad consensus on some of the issues of contention raised. However, on some other issues, we suggested that a committee be put together in the interest of a permanent solution.

Any issue of contention could be resolved through talks,” he said.

The Union Minister affirmed that the Centre was working to protect and uphold the rights of farmers and people in general.

“We are hopeful of reaching a solution soon. Our only objective is to protect the rights and interests of the farmers and the people in general,” Mr Munda added.

A day ahead of the ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest by farmers over a raft of demands that include a separate law for MSP, the withdrawal of police cases against them during previous protests and a debt waiver, a government delegation on Monday held fresh talks with them in Chandigarh amid the measures announced by the Haryana and Punjab governments to ensure law and order.

Agriculture Minister Munda, along with fellow Union cabinet colleague Piyush Goyal, represented the Centre in the meeting with farmer leaders. Punjab Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal was also a party to the talks.

Speaking to ANI after the meeting, farmer union leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal said the protesters will march towards Delhi, as planned on Tuesday, at 10 am.

“The meeting went on for a long time. Discussions were held threadbare on every demand. For us, however, these aren’t merely demands but commitments made to us by the government at different times. Our march to Delhi is still on and we will proceed towards the national capital at 10 am (on Tuesday),” Mr Dallewal said.

Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM) coordinator Sarwan Singh Pandher said the protest will continue as the government still has no offer on the table in the interest of the farmers.

“We will march towards Delhi tomorrow at 10 am. The government did not place any proposals before us during the talks today. While our protest continued, we held talks with Union ministers in a bid to arrive at a breakthrough. Whenever the government calls us for talks, we will go,” Mr Pandher told ANI on Monday.

Meanwhile, as part of the elaborate security measures ahead of Tuesday’s march to the national capital, Delhi Police has already banned public meetings in the city for a month while also barring tractors and trolleys from rolling across the borders.

Security has also been tightened on the Delhi borders in view of the march towards the national capital.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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