Ahead of the next round of talks, farm unions Friday warned that they will start shutting all malls and petrol pumps in Haryana if the government fails to resolve their main demands for the repeal of three new farm laws and a legal guarantee for MSP in the January 4 meeting.
After the sixth round of formal negotiations on Wednesday, the government and farm unions had reached some common ground to resolve protesting farmers’ concerns over rise in power tariff and penalties for stubble burning, but the two sides remained deadlocked over the main contentious issues of the repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee for MSP.
Addressing a press conference at the Singhu border protest site Friday, representatives of farmer unions said only five per cent of the issues raised by them have so far been discussed in meetings with the government. They outlined multiple protest actions over a month if their main demands are not met, in an announcement a few days before Republic Day celebrations.
Farmer leader Yudhveer Singh said if the central government thinks the farmers’ protest will go the Shaheen Bagh way, it is mistaken. “They (government) cannot make us leave this place like they did in Shaheen Bagh,” he said.
The All Indian Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) in a statement released to the media criticised “pro-corporate intellectuals discussing the compromise formula” and said that farmers are clear that they “will not settle down for less than repealing of the three laws because these Bills hand over agriculture markets, farming processes, farmers land and food security to the corporates, and it is apparent that the government has declared acceptance of two minor issues to cover its adamant position”.
Meanwhile, at a meeting of Samkyukt Kisan Morcha — an umbrella body of around 40 farmer unions protesting at several Delhi border points — several decisions were taken. According to the unions, if the results of the talks on January 4 are not satisfactory, a tractor march will be taken out from the protest site to the Kundli–Manesar–Palwal (KMP) Expressway on January 6 and a call will also be given to those farmers protesting at Shahjahanpur on the Haryana-Rajasthan border to move towards the national capital.
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