Repeal farm laws or face the music: Farmers’ unions give ultimatum to the govt, agitation to intensify
The decision was taken by them soon after Union ministers Narendra Tomar and Piyush Goyal stated at a press conference that the govt was ready to make amendments in the laws without repealing them
Even as a deadlock on the new farm laws continues, leaders of various farmers’ unions camping at Delhi’s borders on Thursday announced intensification of their agitation from Saturday onwards. The decision was taken by them soon after Union ministers Narendra Tomar and Piyush Goyal stated at a press conference in Delhi that the government was ready to make amendments in the laws without repealing them, and that APMCs and MSP won’t be affected.
The agitation would be intensified across the country and all the toll collection barriers (toll plazas) on the National and State Highways would be blocked from December 12, they said, adding that dharnas would be staged in front of Deputy Commissioners’ offices across Punjab from December 14. The 'Rail Roko andolan’ would be resumed soon and the railway tracks will be blocked across the country. The date for this would be announced soon, they said.
All the roads leading to Delhi would be blocked completely till the government repeals the laws, they said. The farmers would also gherao the houses and offices of all BJP MPs, MLAs and other leaders across Punjab.
They also expressed their concern over the contradictory statements made by the Prime Minister and the Agriculture Minister pointing out that the PM was talking about dialogue while the latter was adamant on 'conditional' dialogue with farmers. The farmer leaders claimed that the government has agreed that the laws were designed for corporate houses and traders and its intention for having a separate market system has also become clear.
Kisan leader Balbir Singh Rajewal (Bhartiya Kisan Union), while talking to mediapersons said, “The Union government has admitted that the laws are made for traders. The government is under severe pressure from the corporate houses and is not ready to listen to the farmers' grievances. If agriculture is a state subject, they do not have the right to make laws regarding it.”
“We had given an ultimatum till December 10. If the PM does not listen to us and the laws are not repealed, the railway tracks will be blocked. Sanyukt Kisan Manch will fix a date for it and the announcement will be made thereafter,” warned Boota Singh, another farmer leader.
Pointing out that the issue of attachment of land was included in the laws, the farmer leaders questioned the Union government, "What is government’s disadvantage in repealing the laws?"
Unhappy over not getting a satisfactory solution to their demands, the agitating farmers had on Wednesday announced that they will block the Delhi-Jaipur highway on or before December 12.
After blocking the borders at Singhu, Tikri, Chilla and Ghazipur connecting Delhi to Chandigarh, Haryana, Noida (Uttar Pradesh) and Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) respectively, the farmers will now block the Delhi-Jaipur highway that connects the national capital to Rajasthan.
The move will disrupt Delhi's supply chain from another direction as the farmers have planned to block National Highway 48 that starts from Delhi and connects with Rajasthan via Haryana. The decision was taken in the farmers' meeting at Singhu border where thousands of farmers are braving the winter chill under open skies since November 26.
The Delhi Police has beefed up security in the area with the addition of several more layers of barricading ahead of the meeting to prevent any untoward incident. Delhi's Police Commissioner is keeping a close watch on the law and order situation as the protesting farmers have threatened to enter the national capital.
The farmers are protesting against the enactment of Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
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