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Home / News / India /  Farmers reject govt offer to suspend reform laws

Farmer unions on Thursday rejected the Centre’s proposal to suspend the three contentious laws for 18 months and stuck to their demand for a repeal of the laws. The leaders of the agitation also said protests will continue until the government assures that purchases at a minimum support price (MSP) will be a legal entitlement.

On Wednesday, the government offered to suspend the laws and continue with the dialogue with the farmer unions. It also urged farmers to withdraw their agitation. The leaders will convey their decision at a meeting with the government on Friday.

“In a full general body meeting of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the proposal put forth by the government was rejected. A full repeal of the three central farm acts and enacting legislation for remunerative MSP for all farmers were reiterated as pending demands of the movement," the unions said in a statement.

On 20 January, the government extended the offer to suspend the laws for a limited period to placate the unions who are planning to take out a tractor rally in the national capital on 26 January. The government proposal came during the 10th round of talks. Earlier the unions had rejected an offer to amend the laws. Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a coalition of farmer unions leading the agitation, said in a meeting with Delhi Police on Thursday that farmers were requested not to hold the protest march on Republic Day, but they were in no mood to relent, and will march with their tractors along the outer ring road.

According to a farmer leader who did not want to be named, the day-long discussion among unions was a difficult exercise to build consensus. One group was open to the idea of a counter-offer to suspend the laws indefinitely till a mutually agreeable solution was reached, while others were not ready to accept anything short of a repeal of the laws.

The Supreme Court on 12 January stayed the implementation of the three farm laws and formed a three-member panel, which met on Thursday to discuss the laws with 10 farmer associations from across states. However, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha declined to appear before the court-appointed committee. Over 200,000 farmers are camping at different entry points to Delhi for nearly two months.

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