The agitating farmers’ unions have rejected the Centre’s offer to keep the farm laws in abeyance for 18 months and form a joint committee to address their grievances.

On Thursday, the representatives of farmers’ unions during their discussion with the Supreme Court-appointed committee on the three farm laws drew the hard line to press for the repeal of the new agriculture laws.

The unions are scheduled to return to the talks table on Friday.

According to a media report, the farmers’ unions were virtually split down the middle at a meeting to discuss the Centre’s offer.

The report quoted sources as saying that of the 32 unions from Punjab, over a dozen were in favour of accepting the offer while the majority vote carried the resolution to reject the offer.

The Supreme Court-appointed committee on the three farm laws held an interaction with various farmer organisations from 8 states on Thursday through a video conference.

Ten different farmers’ unions from 8 states including Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana and Tamil Nadu, participated in the discussion with the committee members, said an official statement.

The members of the committee formed by the apex court, Anil Ghanwat, Ashok Gulati and Pramod Joshi, requested the farmers’ leaders to frankly put forward their views on the three farm laws.

Joshi informed that the committee would hold discussions with more than 100 farmer organisations from across the country to know their views on the matter.

A statement on behalf of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the umbrella body of organisations spearheading the protest, released by Darshan Pal of Krantikari Kisan Union, stated: “In a full general body meeting of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha today, the proposal put forth by the Government yesterday was rejected. A full repeal of three central farm acts and enacting a legislation for remunerative MSP for all farmers were reiterated as the pending demands of the movement.”

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