Farmers protesting at Singhu Border have called for a Bharat bandh on December 8, ahead of their fifth round of talks with the central government over farm bills. Farm leaders said they are set to intensify the agitation as the fourth round of talks did not yield the desired results.
“During Thursday’s meeting we repeated that the government will have to repeal the three laws. They agreed to nine amendments in the Acts. To an extent, they also agreed to amending electricity and stubble burning laws, but we were not satisfied with the results. We insist that we will only go back once the laws are taken back. A call for Bharat Bandh on December 8 has been made where we have invited the entire country to come on the roads and participate in this movement from wherever they are,” said Harindar Singh Lakhowal of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal).
The farmer unions on Friday held two meetings among themselves — one comprised only farmers from Punjab while in the other, farmer representatives from Odisha, West Bengal, Telangana and Rajasthan were also present.
Farmers said it was mutually agreed by the unions that more farmers will be included in the protest, beyond Punjab. The farmers said they consider their demands “non-negotiable” and the next round of talks will be dominated by the demand repealing the three laws through a special session of Parliament.
“There are movements happening in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. This is an ‘aar paar ki ladai’ and the farmers need to realise it. Due to Corona and the lack of buses and trains, many farmers could not come. Now we have woken up to the idea that we need to be on the streets,” said Yudhveer Singh from Bhartiya Kisan Union during the press conference at Singhu border, which has become the focal point of protests at the Delhi borders.
Farmers from eight divisional headquarters of Maharashtra, including Mumbai and Pune, are likely to join the protests at the Delhi borders, the farm leaders claimed, adding that a Rail Roko movement is also being planned in West Bengal. The unions will also be calling for a complete shutdown of toll plazas for a day, the date for which will be announced later.
The farmer unions have also called for more farmers to gather at Ghazipur and Tikri borders with UP and Haryana respectively in the days to come so they can build pressure on the Centre.
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