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The eighth round of talks between the government and representatives of protesting unions ended without any outcome on Friday and the next meeting is likely to take place on January 15, sources said.

Sticking to their key demand of the repeal of three farm laws to end their protest, farmer leaders on Friday told the government their "ghar wapasi" can happen only after "law wapasi" but the Centre insisted talks must be limited to contentious clauses and ruled out a complete withdrawal of Acts.

At the eighth round of negotiations with the 41-member representative group of protesting farmers, the government asserted the farm reform laws have been welcomed by a large section of farmers in various states and asked the unions to think about the interests of the entire country.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Railways, Commerce and Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash, who is an MP from Punjab, are holding talks with unions at Vigyan Bhawan in the heart of the national capital, while thousands of farmers have stayed put at various Delhi borders to protest against the three laws they find pro-corporate and against the existing mandi and MSP procurement systems.

At the outset, Tomar appealed to unions for discussions on the laws, while farm leaders reiterated their demand that the new Acts must be withdrawn, sources said, adding that the agriculture minister stressed on protecting the farmers' interest of the entire country.

"Our 'ghar wapasi' (return to home) can happen only if you do 'law wapasi' (repeal of laws)," a farmer leader said at the meeting.

"Ideally, the Centre should not interfere in agriculture matters as various Supreme Court orders have declared farming as a state subject. It seems you (the government) do not want to resolve the issue as talks have been happening for so many days. In that case, please give us a clear answer and we will go. Why waste everyone's time," another farmer leader said at the meeting.

All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) member Kavitha Kuruganti, who was also present in the meeting, said the government has told unions that it can not and will not repeal these laws.
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