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No Headway In Talks With Farmers, Next Meeting On Thursday

The farmers’ representatives have turned down the Centre’s second pitch for a committee to discuss the contentious farm laws, protests against which are intensifying by the day. “Now is not the time for a committee,” sources quoted farmers’ representatives as saying at the meeting with three central ministers this evening. A second meeting will be held on December 3. More farmers from Punjab and khaps from Haryana are making their way to the national capital, demanding that the laws be repealed. The farmers have said they will continue the protest if their demands are not accepted. Agriculture minister Narendra Tomar had suggested the formation of a committee, asking farmers to put down the names of their representatives who would be part of it, sources said. The committee, he said, should also have people from the government and agricultural experts to discuss the farm laws. Thousands of farmers, who have braved water cannons, tear gas and police barricades, began their protest last week against the farm laws, aimed at doing away with middlemen and allowing them to sell produce anywhere in the country. Farmers say the laws will deprive them of the minimum prices fixed by the government and leave them at the mercy of corporates.

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