New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Three union ministers met a 41-member representative group of thousands of farmers protesting against three farm laws on borders of the national capital for the sixth round of negotiations on Wednesday to break the over one-month-long deadlock on the contentious issue.

Following the marathon meeting, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the two sides reached agreement on two out of four issues issued related to electricity amendment bill and penal provisions for stubble burning. 

Tomar said that the meeting focused on electricity and stubble burning, and the next round of meeting will be focused on MSP guarantee and three farm laws whuch will be held on January 4. 

"Considering the chilly weather in Delhi, I have requested the farmer leaders to send home the elderly, women and children. The next round of talks will be held on January 4," he told media. 

He added that the talks were held in cordial atmosphere and the farmer union leaders kept insisting on repealing the three farm laws. 

As per media reports, the government is firm on not repealing the three agri laws, but has offered to form a committee to deliberate on the farmers' demands. According to NDTV, the government told the union leaders that the process of withdrawing the farm laws is as along as making them.   

The meeting between three union ministers and a 41-member representative group of thousands of farmers protesting against three farm laws on borders of the national capital saw the two sides breaking the bread, but not the ice.

While the ministers joined the farmer leaders to share their langar (community kitchen) food during the lunch break, the union representatives accepted the beverage offered by the government during the evening tea break.

The government hoped it would be a decisive meeting and the protesting farmers would return from Delhi borders to their respective homes to celebrate the New Year, but farmer leaders insisted they are prepared to continue their agitation till the government agrees to their demands, including repeal of the laws.

The sixth round of talks was originally scheduled for December 9 but it was called off after an informal meeting of Home Minister Shah with some union leaders failed to reach any breakthrough.

The government had, however, followed up Shah's meeting with a draft proposal sent to these farmer unions in which it had suggested 7-8 amendments to the new laws and written assurance on the MSP procurement system. The government has ruled out a repeal of the three agri laws.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, are protesting at various borders of the national capital for more than a month against these three new laws.

The government has presented these laws as major agriculture reforms aimed at helping farmers and increasing their income, but the protesting unions fear that the new legislations have left them at the mercy of big corporates by weakening the MSP and mandi systems.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta