In a full general meeting of Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of over 40 protesting farmer unions, leaders decided to maintain their stance on the issue -- repeal of the three agriculture laws and continue the demand for a legal guarantee on Minimum Support Price (MSP) for agriculture produce, and continue their protest to pressurise the government.
"It has been decided unanimously that no proposal of the government will be accepted until and unless the laws are repealed. During the meeting with the government tomorrow, we will tell them that we have only one demand -- repeal of the laws and legally guarantee for MSP," farmer leader Joginder S Ugrahan told reporters after the meeting.
What government proposed?
During the tenth round of meeting on Wednesday, the Central government said that it was ready to put on hold the implementation of the three laws for one and half a year and form a committee to address their grievances.
In response, the farmer unions had said that they would consider the proposal during their internal meeting and convey their decision to the government at the eleventh round of meeting scheduled to take place on January 22.
The implementation of the three laws has already been stayed by the Supreme Court of India till further orders. The court has also formed a committee consisting of four members to resolve the deadlock and has been asked to submit its report within two months after holding consultations with the government and the farmer unions.
One member of the committee, BS Mann, has resigned following allegations the members are biased. This came after media reports suggested that all the four members had publicly supported the farm laws.
After the conclusion of the tenth round of talks on Wednesday, Union Agriculture Minister was seen in a jubilant mood and had expressed hopes that the matter would be resolved on January 22 when the government holds the eleventh round of talks with agitating farmers.
With farmers rejecting the proposal, the plan of the government to resolve the issue before January 26 is unlikely to materialise now.
Farmer unions have announced they would enter the national capital and take out a massive tractor rally on the occasion of Republic Day, with Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait saying that "tractors and tanks with roll together".
The government's proposal was seen as an attempt to ensure that farmers end their protest before January 26 so that the tractor rally does not take place, which many say would be an embarrassment for the government.