.
.
.
.

Indian government fails to resolve deadlock with protesting farmers

Published: Updated:

Representatives of the Indian government and protesting farmers failed again Monday to reach agreement on the farmers' demand that new agricultural reform laws be repealed.

With the government refusing to revoke the legislation, the farmers pledged to continue blockading key highways linking the capital with the country's north. The two sides agreed to meet for more talks on Friday.

“It is up to the government whether it wants to solve the farmers’ problems. We will not end our protests until our demands are met,” said Hannan Mollah, a leader of the farmers.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Tens of thousands of farmers have been blocking the highways for nearly 40 days despite the coronavirus pandemic, rains and an ongoing cold wave.

Farmers fear the government will stop buying grain at minimum guaranteed prices under the laws and that corporations will then push prices down. The government said it is willing to pledge that guaranteed prices will continue.

The farmers say the laws will lead to the cartelization and commercialization of agriculture and make farmers vulnerable to corporate greed.

The farmers have threatened to hold a rally on Jan. 26 when India celebrates Republic Day if their demands are not met.

In their last meeting on Dec. 30, the two sides reached a consensus on two issues — that the government would continue its subsidy of electricity for irrigating farms and that farmers would not be punished for burning crop residues, a cause of air pollution.

Read more:

Thousands of Indian farmers protest at New Delhi border, face-off with police

Indian government considers rolling back agriculture reforms after mass protests

Air corridor deal between Dubai and India to boost vaccine distribution