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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

No one from Centre has approached us: Punjab farmers’ leader

"...we have repeatedly demanded to know on which agenda the Union Government wants to talk to us and when and where they have planned the meeting. We have not got any invitation letter from the Union Government to initiate talks with us,” said Dr Darshan Pal, union leader of Kirti Kisan Union.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | October 4, 2020 1:28:20 am
farm bills, farm laws, farmer protests, Punjab farmer protests, Haryana farmer protests, India news, Indian ExpressDuring a protest in Patiala (Express Photo: Harmeet Sodhi)

Reacting to the statement of Union Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri that the Union Government was in continuous touch with 31 farmer unions, Dr Darshan Pal, union leader of Kirti Kisan Union, on behalf of all the unions said “till now, no representative from Centre has directly approached us”.

“Rather local leaders (from eight-member panel) are contacting us. However, we have repeatedly demanded to know on which agenda the Union Government wants to talk to us and when and where they have planned the meeting. We have not got any invitation letter from the Union Government to initiate talks with us,” Dr Pal said. “Under the present circumstances, our struggle is intensifying and every day more and more farmers are joining protest dharnas. Moreover, we are boycotting BJP leaders due to which many of them are not coming out of their houses.“

At Bathinda villages, boards have come up in which BKU (Ugrahan) members have stated that leaders from political parties are not invited to villages for initiating talks with farmers or even for seeking votes. Jagseer Singh, a member of BKU (Ugrahan), said, ”We have installed boards in many villages in which it has been mentioned that politicians are not welcome to seek votes or to give false claims about farm laws . BJP has implemented the laws while Shiromani Akali Dal has taken a U-turn — first they agreed to the ordinances and later backed out when they saw the farmers’ anger. AAP is an opportunist while Congress had attended many meetings and were aware of these laws and now they are showing sympathy with farmers. Hence, all are one and the same.”

On Saturday, over two dozen fuel stations of corporate houses remained shut due to the farmers’ dharna inside the premises of these fuel stations. Toll plazas at eight locations remained closed. Farmers are sitting at 32 railway stations as a mark of protest.

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