Cancellation of UK PM’s trip a political win for us, diplomatic defeat for government: Farmers’ unions

Farmers’ unions protesting against the three new farm laws asserted that their agitation has been receiving global support

Representative Image (Farmers sitting at Singhu Border to protest centre’s farm reform laws in New Delhi, India.) (Photo by Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Representative Image (Farmers sitting at Singhu Border to protest centre’s farm reform laws in New Delhi, India.) (Photo by Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
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PTI

Farmers’ unions protesting against the three new farm laws on Wednesday claimed the cancellation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's visit to India later this month was a "political win" for them and a "diplomatic defeat" for the government, and asserted their agitation has been receiving global support.

Johnson was scheduled to attend the Republic Day celebrations in India as Chief Guest, but the visit had to be cancelled due to the growing health crisis in the UK after a new variant of coronavirus emerged there.

"The cancellation of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's India visit is a political win for farmers and a diplomatic defeat for the Modi government...political and social organisations across the world have been supporting the agitation," Sankyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of the protesting farmer unions, said in a statement in Hindi.

The statement said the farmers have already announced a tractor protest march on January 26 and a "rehearsal" for it was scheduled on January 7.

"The cancellation of the UK prime minister's visit because of all these efforts is surely a big victory for farmers," the statement said.

According to a release issued by the Prime Minister's office on Tuesday, PM Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with Johnson.

"Prime Minister Johnson reiterated his thanks for India's invitation for him as the Chief Guest of the forthcoming Republic Day celebrations, but regretted his inability to attend in view of the changed COVID-19 context prevailing in the UK. He reiterated his keenness to visit India in the near future," it had stated.

The protesting farm unions have claimed that around 80 farmers have died - they have called them "martyrs" -- since their agitation began.

Meanwhile, All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, one of the 40 protesting unions, alleged in statement that the Central government is "non-serious" on the demands of peasants.

"The Central government is non-serious about talks and solving farmers' problems. In the 7th round of talks, it finally stated clearly that it has understood that the demand is for repeal and that it will have to undertake "further consultation"," AIKSCC claimed.

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