Amit Shah Meets Agriculture Minister As Farmers Threaten To Block Delhi

Amid massive protests against the three contentious agricultural laws, Amit Shah on Saturday said the government was ready to deliberate on "every problem and demand" if the farmers were ready to shift to another protest site.

Amit Shah met top BJP leaders last night over farmers' issues.

Highlights

  • Amit Shah and other top BJP leaders met last night at JP Nadda's home
  • Defiant farmers have threatened to block five entry points to Delhi
  • They refused yesterday an offer to hold early talks
New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah met Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar this morning. It was the second meeting within 24 hours after farmers protesting against the farm laws rejected the Centre's proposal of early talks after shifting their protest venue. Last night, Mr Shah met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Mr Tomar at BJP chief JP Nadda's Delhi house to discuss the situation, sources said. The protesters have threatened to block five entry points to Delhi. One of the protesters died last night after suffering a heart attack. This was the second death after their march to Delhi started last week.

Here are 10 developments in this big story:

  1. Farmer Gajjan Singh from a Khattra, a village in Ludhiana district of Punjab, died on Sunday night at Tikri border, where a large number of protesters were camping. His health had deteriorated due to the extreme cold and he reportedly suffered a heart attack. This has been the coldest November in 71 years.

  2. All khaps of Haryana have unanimously decided to support the farmers' protest. Khaps will gather tomorrow and proceed towards Delhi. "We request the Centre to re-consider farm Laws. Everyone has a right to express themselves," Sombir Sangwan, Haryana Khap Pradhan and Dadri MLA was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

  3. Some women from Shaheen Bagh have come to the Singhu border to show support for the farmers' protest, which has been planned for over two months and has the support of 500 farmers' organisations.  Farm union leaders claim some 3 lakh farmers are participating in the protest march.

  4. The protesters - who have braved water cannons, tear gas and police barricades in the last few days - have threatened to block the roads to Delhi from five entry points: Sonipat, Rohtak, Jaipur, Ghaziabad-Hapur, and Mathura. The Delhi Police this morning appealed to the commuters to take alternate routes as key roads near borders with neighbouring Haryana stay closed. 

  5. Amid the massive protests, Union minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the government was ready to deliberate on "every problem and demand". The Home Minister, however, had said the protest will have to be shifted to a designated venue if the farmers wanted to hold early discussions with the government; the talks have been scheduled for December 3.

  6. After a meeting on Sunday, the farmers turned down the government's proposal for early talks, and said they should have approached with "an open heart" and the Centre shouldn't  have put preconditions. The government's offer was rejected over fears that the protest spots the centre suggested can become jails. "We've decided that we'll never go to Burari Park (protest site suggested by the government) as we got proof that it's an open jail. Delhi Police told the Uttarakhand Farmers Association chief that they'll take them to Jantar Mantar but instead locked them at Burari Park," said Surjeet Phul, Bharatiya Kisan Union president. .

  7. At yesterday's meeting, the top BJP leaders last night also discussed the sparring between the Chief Ministers of Haryana and Punjab - ML Khattar and Captain Amarinder Singh - in the last few days over the new farm laws, and handling of the protests after the farmers began their march to Delhi last week and crossed borders of the three states, sources said.

  8. For nearly three months, the farmers have been up in arms against the farm laws, aimed at bringing reforms by doing away with middlemen and improving farmers' earnings by allowing them to sell produce anywhere in the country. Farmers and opposition parties allege that the laws will deprive the farmers of guaranteed minimum price for their produce and leave them at the mercy of corporates.

  9. Prime Minister Narendra Modi - in his monthly radio address "Mann Ki Baat" - on Sunday said that the centre's reforms in the agricultural sector have opened "many more opportunities" for the farmers, and have met their long-pending demands.

  10. As opposition leaders continue to attack the government over farm laws and handling of protests, Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar today urged people not to believe in rumours being spread against the minimum support price.