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Talks between protesting farmers, Indian gov't remain inconclusive

(Xinhua)    09:23, January 05, 2021

NEW DELHI, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- The seventh round of talks between protesting farmers and Indian government ended inconclusively on Monday as the farmer leaders insisted on the repeal of the three contentious farm laws, a demand rejected by ministers.

However, both sides agreed to meet on Friday again for the eighth round aimed at breaking the impasse.

The government side was represented by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and junior minister for commerce and industry Som Prakash, while as farmers were represented by various leaders from 41 farmers' unions.

"Keeping in mind the discussions during the previous meeting the government is committed to finding a solution on farmers issues with an open mind. Both sides need to take steps forward to find the solution," Tomar told the media after the meeting.

"Keeping in mind the welfare of the farmers talks regarding farm laws will be held with all farmers unions representatives from different states and clause-wise discussion on farm laws can be carried forward to resolve contentious issues."

The meeting started with a two-minute silence for the protesting farmers who have died during the agitation.

Reports said over 60 farmers occupying roads at the Delhi border have died, mostly due to extreme weather conditions.

The protesting farmers have threatened to hold a rally on India's Republic Day on Jan. 26 if their demands were not met.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting for over a month in and around the capital city New Delhi, occupying roads and demanding the withdrawal of three contentious farm laws.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been strongly defending the laws since the protest broke out in the last week of November 2020.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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