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Chidambaram urges Centre to accept its mistake and concede on farm laws

Senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram urged the Central government to accept its mistake on the three contentious farm laws and work with the farmers to start on a clean slate. Congress leader’s remarks come in a day after the ninth round of talks between the protesting farmers and the government ended in a stalemate. He added that it was expected that no breakthrough would be achieved in the talks and the NDA government is to be blamed for this situation.

Chidambaram alleged that the RTI responses have revealed that the Government did not consult before enacting the three farm laws ordinances and particularly the state governments were not consulted. Chidambaram added that these RTI responses expose the Government’s lie where the Government claimed that extensive consultations were made.

On Friday, the 9thround of talks between the government and the protesting farmers ended without any conclusion and the next round of meetings has been scheduled for 19th January. The Friday’s meeting of the farm leaders and the Government went on for long5 hours over the demand for minimum support price (MSP) and withdrawal of the three farm legislations, however, the meeting ended in a stalemate.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court had expressed its disappointment with the way the Central government has handled the situation. The apex court had stayed the implementation of the three farm legislation still further orders and simultaneously formed a four-member committee to probe into the farmers’ issues. This was the 1st meeting related to the farm laws after the Supreme Court passed its 11-page order on 12th January. The farmer unions have opposed the formation of such an expert committee raising doubts over the composition of the committee.

Farmer unions alleged that the panel members included in the committee have previously supported farm laws. Farmer leader Bhupinder Singh Mann who was a member of the committee formed by the Supreme Court had recused himself from the panel on Thursday.

Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa said that the four-member committee has further created a situation of distrust between farmer unions and the government.

Lakhs of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh have been agitating and protesting against the 3 farm laws. These farmers have been protesting at several Delhi borders since November 26. Their demand remains rigid that the government must repeal the three farm laws enacted in September last year.