Farmers’ Protest Highlights: With the farm protests spilling over to the third week and no end in sight to the deadlock, farmer leaders on Saturday said they have decided to intensify their agitation against the controversial agriculture laws and that their union leaders will sit on a hunger strike on December 14.
“If the government wants to hold talks, we are ready, but our main demand will remain the scrapping of the three laws. We will move onto our other demands only after that,” farmer leader Kanwalpreet Singh Pannu told reporters at Singhu border. He also announced that thousands of farmers will start their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march from Rajasthan’s Shahjahanpur through the Jaipur-Delhi Highway at 11 am on Sunday.
The move to intensify the stir came on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured them that his government was committed to their welfare and that the legislations were aimed at giving them alternate markets to boost income.
Meanwhile, the Congress on Saturday accused the Modi government of branding every person opposing it a “Maoist” and an “anti-national” and urged the Centre to accede to the demands of the protesting farmers. The party’s comments came after Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said some “anti-social elements” are conspiring to spoil the atmosphere of the peasants’ movement under the guise of farmers, and appealed to the protesting farming community to be vigilant against their platform being misused.
Thousands of farmers from states like Punjab and Haryana have blocked some of the highways leading to Delhi borders for more than two weeks now against the new farm laws which they fear will prompt the government to stop making direct crop purchases at minimum state-set prices, called minimum support price.