NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday said he was saddened that the government "refuses to relent" on the farmers' demands and asked whether its meetings with the protesters are aimed at tiring them out.
He also stressed that the farm laws be kept in abeyance and a fresh start be made by talking to all stakeholders.
"Saddened that the government remains as adamant as ever and refuses to relent. The wise course is to keep the unpopular farm laws in abeyance and start talking to all stakeholders on a clean slate," he said on Twitter.
The former finance minister said any legal reform of agricultural produce marketing must be based on the widespread consultation and not through "midnight ordinances".
"If the government has nothing to offer, why has it asked for another meeting with the farmers' organisations? Is it a tactic to tire the protesters by asking them to remain in the bitter cold for another week," he asked.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the farmers protesting at Singhur on the border of Delhi," he also said.
Farmers are protesting at Delhi borders for over a month now, demanding a repeal of the farm laws and over 60 of them have died during the protest.
The government's negotiations with farm unions to end the agitation appeared heading nowhere at the eighth round of talks on Friday as the Centre ruled out repealing the three contentious laws claiming nationwide support for reforms while the farmer leaders said they are ready to fight till death and their 'ghar waapsi' will happen only after 'law waapsi'.
The next meeting has been fixed for January 15, amid indications that any headway will now depend on a Supreme Court hearing scheduled for January 11 on a batch of petitions related to the protest.