8th round of talks between protesting farmers, Indian gov't fail to end deadlock

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NEW DELHI, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- The eighth round of talks between protesting farmers and the Indian government on Friday again remained inconclusive, thereby failing to end the ongoing deadlock.

While farmer leaders insisted on the repeal of the three contentious farm laws, the ministers from the government rejected the demand saying they were ready to discuss laws clause by clause.

Both sides agreed to meet on Jan. 15 again for the ninth round aimed at breaking the impasse.

The government was represented by federal agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar, federal commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal and federal junior minister for commerce and industry Som Parkash, while farmers were represented by various leaders from farmers' unions.

"Soon after the talks began, the government conveyed it cannot repeal the laws. Then there was nothing for discussion as we have been demanding from the day one that government should repeal the three laws," a farmer leader told media after the meeting. "When we started to leave then it was decided that another round will be held on Jan. 15."

Meanwhile, the agriculture minister said the laws have been framed keeping in view the overall integrity of the country and the broad interests of the farmers.

"The government is fully concerned about the farmers and the government wants the protest to end at an earliest, but because of the non-availability of provisionary discussion on the options, the appropriate decision and solution has not been achieved," the minister told media.

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

On Thursday protesting farmers staged a tractor-march from protest sites in the outskirts of India's national capital New Delhi against the farm laws.

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

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been strongly defending the three laws since the protest broke out in November last year. Enditem

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