—Representatives of the farmers today refused to eat the food offered officially during the meeting held with the BJP-led central government at Vigyan Bhawan here over the contentious farm laws. The meeting remained inconclusive once again.
Sources said, when the waiters served dry fruits to them, they refused to take it and started eating the roasted Chhole which they took along in their pockets, instead. During the lunch break, the government made special arrangements of buffet for them and offered food of various kinds. Instead of having this food, they opened their own Tiffin Boxes supplied from the protest sites, where langar is served to all regularly.
Notably, the representatives of the farmers faced criticism for accepting the food offered by the government during early rounds of the talk. This made them reject the food of the government.
Normally during official meetings at Vigyan Bhawan, tea, snacks, lunch, etc., are served to participants. The farmers said they would not eat “sarkari khana”.
As far as the talk is concerned, it remained inconclusive as Centre’s representatives Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar did not agree upon farmers’ demand of rolling back the laws. However, a little progress was witnessed as the Centre agreed to make some amendments in the laws. Next meeting will be held on December 5.
Accompanied by Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Som Praksah Tomar, Tomar said the fourth round of talks concluded in a “very positive atmosphere”. He said the government had agreed to “discuss and consider with an open mind” all major points of concern of farmers about the three new laws.
The Centre also showed some leniency in holding the discussion on strengthening the APMC (Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee) ‘mandi’ system, tax parity with proposed private mandis and freedom for farmers to approach higher courts for any dispute resolution.
Credit of change in Centre’s stance is being given to the struggle of the farmers who have converged on the entry points of Delhi from Haryana side and are protesting there to press the government to roll back the laws. More farmers from Punjab are going to Delhi to join the unprecedented stir that has entered into a decisive phase. Other sections of Punjab are also coming to fore to support the agitation as the laws have potential to affect public life.