Govt should admit its mistake on farm laws: Chidambaram
New Delhi, January 16, 2021
A day after the ninth round of talks between the government and the protesting farmers ended without a breakthrough, former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram urged "the government to admit its mistake and agree to start on a clean slate" with the farmers.
Chidambaram said as expected the talks failed, and it is the government which is to be blamed because it will not agree to get rid of the disputed laws even after the RTI responses have exposed the government's "lie" about its claims that there were extensive consultations before the farm law ordinances were promulgated.
"The truth is that no one was consulted. In particular, state governments were not consulted," he said.
"The only way out of the impasse is for the government to admit its mistake and agree to start with a clean slate," he added.
The ninth round of talks between the government and the agitating farmers ended inconclusively on Friday and the next round of meeting has been scheduled for January 19.
The meeting of the farmer leaders with the government went on for around five hours on Friday over the three contentious farm laws and the demand for minimum support price (MSP), but ended in a stalemate.
This was the first meeting between the two sides after the Supreme Court order on January 12, which stayed the implementation of the three farm laws and also formed a four-member committee to look into the farmers' issues.
However, on Thursday, farmer leader Bhupinder Singh Mann, one of the four members on the committee, recused himself from the panel constituted by the top court.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh have been agitating against the three farm laws. They have been protesting at several places along Delhi's borders since November 26. Their main demand is that the government must repeal the three farm laws enacted in September last year.