With farmers firm on their demand about the repealing of the three agriculture laws passed by the Centre in the last monsoon session of Parliament, their protest entered the 14th day on Wednesday with demonstrations continuing on Sant Nirankari Samagam ground in Burari on the outskirts of Delhi and at borders.
Earlier on Tuesday, leaders of farmer unions held a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal at Shah's residence, over their demands regarding the three agricultural laws that were passed earlier in September.
After the meeting, All India Kisan Sabha General Secretary Hannan Mollah had told the media that the meeting with the Centre, which was scheduled to take place today, stood cancelled and they will get a proposal from the government on which they will deliberate.
"No meeting will be held between farmers and the government tomorrow. The Minister has said that a proposal will be given to the farmer leaders tomorrow (December 9). Farmer leaders will hold a meeting over government's proposal," Mollah had told the media on Tuesday.
He also said that from the last five days farmers and the Centre are discussing the same issues, and added that the government is not ready to take back the farm laws.
Mollah said that the farmer unions will meet at 12 noon on Wednesday.
"Tomorrow we will hold a meeting at Singhu border (Delhi-Haryana border) at 12 noon," he said.
However, later Rakesh Tikait, spokesperson of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) described the meeting with Union Ministers as 'positive' and said that the government would give a draft to the farm leaders today, which would be discussed by the rest of the group.
"I would say that the meeting was positive. The government has taken cognizance of our demands and will give a draft to us tomorrow, which we will deliberate upon," Tikait said after the meeting here yesterday.
Tikait, however, continued to assert that the farmers wanted the complete withdrawal of the three farm bills, while the government wanted to make amendments. "We have not yet received a date for another meeting. The protest will continue," he added.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said that leaders from different political parties will meet today to take a collective stand on the new farm laws.
The government and farmer unions have held five rounds of talks so far. Tomar and Goyal, who is also Minister for food and consumer affairs, have been present in previous rounds of talks. Tuesday's meeting started around 8:30 pm and was attended by 13 leaders of farmer unions.
The farmers are protesting against the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.