Farmers protesting against the Centre’s new agri laws at Delhi border points on Monday said they have come to the national capital for a “decisive battle” and asserted that they will continue their agitation until their demands are met. Addressing a press conference at Singhu border, a representative of protesting farmers said that they want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to listen to their “mann ki baat’. He added, “our demands are non-negotiable,” and claimed the ruling party “will have to pay a heavy price” if it does not heed to their concerns.
After the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), yet another NDA constituent, the Rajasthan-based Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP), has expressed unhappiness over the farm laws, claiming it would have to rethink being in the alliance unless the legislations are scrapped. In a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah Monday, Beniwal, MP from Nagaur, said in Hindi: “By drawing your attention to the farmer protests against the three bills, I would like to request you to immediately take action to withdraw these bills. The people who feed the country are agitating amid this extreme winter and the Covid-19 pandemic, which does not reflect well on the government.”
Amid ongoing protests by farmers at Singhu and Tikri borders, the Delhi Traffic Police on Monday advised commuters to take alternate routes to enter and exit Haryana. Both the border points at Singhu and Tikri are closed as the farmers have rejected the Centre’s offer to move to the Burari Park in New Delhi. On Sunday, farmers announced that they would blockade five points of entry into Delhi — Sonipat, Rohtak, Jaipur, Ghaziabad-Hapur, and Mathura — in the coming days.
Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar met last night at BJP chief JP Nadda’s residence, hours after the farmers protesting in and around Delhi rejected the Centre’s invitation for conditional talks. During the day, several leaders of farmers’ groups gave speeches from atop tractors on the Haryana side of the Singhu Border as Delhi Police remained stationed behind barriers mounted with barbed wire. More farmers were likely to join the protest over the next two days, the leaders said.