In the fourth round of talks with the farmers protesting at the gates of Delhi on Thursday, hopes for a resolution ran high on both ends -- farmers and the government -- as they comsmit to continuing the dialogue and reach a positive outcome.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, and Railways and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday held a meeting at the Vigyan Bhawan with a delegation of farmers, including the leaders of several farm organisations holding protests in the national capital against the recent farm laws.
"The Central government is constantly discussing the farmers' issues with them. Today is the fourth round of talks with the protesting farmers. I am hoping for a positive outcome," Tomar told reporters ahead of the meeting.
Farmer leaders, while speaking to reporters ahead of the meeting, also expressed hope that the rounds of talks will lead to a positive outcome but many leaders remained consistent with their stand that the protests will continue until the farm laws are rolled back.
"We hope that the talks today will be productive. If our demands are not met, then the farmers will continue the protest and even take part in the Republic Day parade held in Delhi," farmer leader Rakesh Tikat, a spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, said.
Another farmer leader said that they have prepared a point-to-point list of objections against the farm laws, as sought by the government, and added that they hope the Central government is willing to seriously discuss guaranteeing minimum support price.
Several farmers have expressed doubt that the MSP may be removed after the corporate markets, as per the new farm laws, start functioning.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party has maintained that they are committed to MSP with even senior leaders of the party and Union ministers reiterating that the "MSP will stay".
"We have already given our demands to the government. We have come here with hopes. The protests will not end till the farm law is rolled back," another farmer leader said.
Earlier, farmers had met a delegation of Union ministers on December 1 to discuss their demands, over which they are protesting at the borders of Delhi.
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.