Updated: December 15, 2020 10:28:12 PM
With the stalemate on the controversial farm laws continuing even after 20 days, peasant leaders on Tuesday declared that they are not running away from negotiations and that the central government should instead put forward concrete proposals.
Hardening their stance on the issue, peasant leaders announced a complete blockade of the Chilla border, between Delhi and Noida, on Wednesday to press their demands.
“The government says ‘we will not repeal these laws’, we say we will make you comply with it. The battle has reached a stage where we aim to win no matter what,” peasant leader Jagjeet Dallewal said during a press conference at Singhu border in Nov -Delhi.
The decision of Protestant peasants to intensify their agitation comes on the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that peasants gathered near Delhi are misled as part of a conspiracy.
During a function in Dhordo after performing virtual stone ceremonies for three projects in Kutch district, Prime Minister Modi said, “I am confident that progressive farmers will defeat those who make politics by spreading lies and using the shoulders of farmers to launch their guns.”
“A sense of fear is instilled in their minds. Farmers are being told that their lands will be seized by others if the new farm laws are implemented, ”he said.“ Demand for rural sector reforms we have brought recently has been very old. Many peasant bodies have long demanded that farmers have the freedom to sell their products wherever they want.
“Those in opposition were in favor of these reforms when they ruled,” he continued.
“But they failed to make any decision when they ruled. They only gave hollow promises to peasants. Now that the country has taken this historic step, these same people are spreading lies. I want to reiterate that my government is ready 24 hours to resolve all your doubts, ”Modi said.
The previous five negotiations remained inconclusive. The last scheduled round, on December 9, was canceled after a meeting between Shah and representatives of agricultural unions.
The Center then extended a new set of proposals to resolve the crisis, including written assurance on continuation of purchase based on minimum price (MSP) and equality in transactions within and outside mandates of Agricultural Product Market Committee (APMC). But the farm leaders rejected these proposals and said they would escalate their protests until the laws were repealed.
‘One farmer dies every day’
Leaders of the peasant protest also called on people to pay tribute on December 20 to those peasants who lost their lives during the ongoing protests. Farmer leader Rishipal claimed that one farmer has died daily on average since the protest began in the last week of November.
“A tribute day (Shraddhanjali Diwas) for all peasants who lost their lives and became martyrs in the ongoing protest will be organized across the country in villages and headquarters on December 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.,” one of the farm leaders said. said during the press conference.
Tomar meets farmers, claims support for new laws
Meanwhile, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday claimed that the new farming laws have been welcomed in various states across the country, but the Center wants to continue its talks with “genuine farming unions” to find a solution with an open mind.
His comments came after a meeting with members of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Kisan) of Uttar Pradesh who sent a memorandum to the minister with suggestions on the Agricultural Actions and the MSP. “The farmers who met me today supported the three farm laws. They said they are with the bills ruler. As some peasants spread a misunderstanding, they were also misled. When I spoke to them, they clearly supported the bills, ”Tomar told media after the meeting.
According to PTI, BKU (Kisan) has also decided to stop now its protest, which it held at district levels in Uttar Pradesh. The peasant corps was not part of nearly 40 peasant groups who protested on various borders of the national capital and attended the recent negotiations with the Center without any success.
In the meeting with Tomar, leaders of BKU (Kisan) suggested that farmers should have the option to go to civil courts in case of a dispute. “They also suggested that the head of Panchayat be given the same importance as the head of the mandi to protect the rights of peasants in towns and villages. In the case of the Essential Goods Act, they suggested that it prevent monopoly and black marketing, ”said a press release issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Peasant Welfare.
On the other hand, Shiromani president Akali Dal Sukhbir Singh Badal has called former ally BJP as the real “tukde tukde gang” that is trying to push patriotic Punjab into common flames.
“BJP is the real‘ Tukde Tukde Gang ’in the country. It shattered national unity, shamelessly inciting Hindus against Muslims and now desperately setting up peaceful Punjabi Hindus against their Sikh brothers especially peasants. They are pushing patriotic Punjab into common flames, ”he said.
The SAD has left the National Democratic Alliance on the issue of farm laws. SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal also resigned as union minister.
‘Government must climb down from its high horse’
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Tuesday called on the government to repeal the farm laws and introduce a fresh bill following an agreement with the agitating farmers. “Government needs to get off its high horse and quickly reach an agreement with the farmers,” Chidambaram said in a tweet.
It is shocking that after 20 days of peasant protests in Delhi’s bitter winter, the government continues to stick to the “no cancellation”.
It is obvious that any agreement between peasants and government will inevitably require a new bill in parliament
– P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) December 15, 2020
“The simple way forward is to repeal the current laws and Reconfirm a new law based on the agreement. Repeal and Advertising is a well-known legislative tool,” he added.
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