New Delhi: Even before the scheduled eighth round of talks, the government and the farmer unions stuck to their respective positions. The agitating farmers took out tractor rallies to press their demand for rollback of new farm laws and the Centre asserted it is ready to consider any proposal other than their repeal.

While rumours say that some states have been allowed to opt out of the Centre’s laws but the agitating unions said they had not received any such proposal from the government.

Farmer leader Shiv Kumar Kakka, a senior member of the Samkyukt Kisan Morch, said that unions have not received any proposal for allowing some states to opt out and asserted that they will reject the same if it is sent to them.

“I want to make it clear that Samkyukt Kisan Morcha has not received any proposal on allowing states to opt out of the three farm laws. We will not accept anything less than the repeal of three agriculture laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support price for our crops,” Kakka told PTI.

Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) chief Joginder Singh Ugrahan also denied receiving any such proposal from the Centre.

Meanwhile, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar made it clear that the government is ready to consider any proposal other than repeal of three farm laws, which has been the key demand of the farmers.

Tomar — who is leading the negotiations along with Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash, said he cannot say right now what would be the outcome of the January 8 meeting with 40 protesting farmer union leaders.

On Thursday, the agitating farmers took out tractor marches from protest sites of Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders and Haryana’s Rewasan as the unions asserted they would not accept the Centre’s offer of amendments to the three farm laws.

According to the protesting farm unions, these marches were a “rehearsal” for their proposed January 26 “Kisan parade” to the national capital from different parts of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

The fresh round of talks will be held at 2PM on Friday at Delhi’s Vigyan Bhavan and is critical as the previous meeting on January 4 remained inconclusive with both sides sticking to their positions. Even as both sides look for a resolution to the deadlock which has lasted more than a month.

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