The protest by farmers around Delhi border points against the Centre's new farm laws entered its 20th day on Tuesday. The farmer leaders on Monday held a day-long hunger strike against the Centre's new farm laws and claimed that protests took place at all district headquarters. They also claimed that more people are expected to join the ongoing agitation at Delhi border points.
Five rounds of talks between the farmers and Centre have failed to end the stalemate and the sixth was cancelled on December 9.
On Monday, with some key roads blocked for several days now due to their protest, an umbrella body of farmers apologised with "folded hands" to people for the inconvenience caused to them, but said they were carrying out the demonstration "out of compulsion".
Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, which is spearheading the protests at Delhi border points, distributed handbills in Hindi to commuters on the Jaipur-Delhi Highway near Haryana-Rajasthan borders, where hundreds of farmers have been camping for almost past three weeks now, to convey their apology, and also reiterate their demand for legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Here are the highlights on farmers' protests:
Twenty farmers have died since the protest started outside Delhi and the government, which is responsible for this, will have to pay, farmer leaders declared today from the Singhu border. December 20 has been declared as a day of mourning and "homage will be paid to the martyrs in every village," a farmer leader said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, spoke up again in support of the farm laws, which are at the heart of the months-long agitation and accused the opposition of "instigating" and "misleading" the farmers. The farmers hardened stance, saying they will "make" the government repeal the laws.
Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Giriraj Singh on Tuesday alleged that opposition leaders are behind farmers' protest for their political survivals.
Speaking to ANI Union Minister Giriraj Singh said that the door of the government is open for the farmers and will remain open.
Protesting at Jantar Mantar, JS Gill, Congress MP from Khadoor Sahib, Punjab, said that his agitation will continue till the farmers are heard by the Centre.
"Farmers are protesting peacefully. The government wants to divide them. The country''s farmers are stand united today. The government is supporting capitalists instead of solving farmers issues. We''ll continue our protest till the farmers are heard," Mr Gill told ANI.
While at Gazipur border, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said, "The government should listen to the farmers. The laws should be made on MSP. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar is also a farmer. At what rate was his farm produce sold, was it sold at MSP? Did he suffer loss or earn profit?... The government should visit villages and hold meetings."
Amid the ongoing protest over the Centre's newly enacted agriculture sector related laws, farmers are continuing their demonstration at Jaisinghpur-Khera area in Rewari near Rajasthan-Haryana border, for the third day on Tuesday.
"We are ready to have a dialogue. With any dialogue, there is no possibility of a resolution...All we are saying is this, these the three farm laws are set to benefit businessmen, not farmers," said Rampal Jat, National President of Kisan Mahapanchayat, at Jaisinghpur-Khera border.
Farmers' protest against Centre's three farm laws continued for the 20th day at Singhu border with Delhi on Tuesday.
Several former army personnel also joined the protesting farmers.
Speaking to ANI, Kamaldeep Singh said that he has retired from the Army five years ago. "I was posted in different states of the country. We are also the son of a farmer. I come here as a farmer. I have these medals placed because I have done valourous work in the past and stood at the border. We want to show the government that if these black laws are not taken back then we will stay here."
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar is also a farmer. At what rate was his farm produce sold, was it sold at MSP? Did he suffer loss or earned profit?...The government should visit villages and hold meetings: Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait at Ghazipur border pic.twitter.com/Je3VSCCzmj- ANI (@ANI) December 15, 2020
Several organisations affiliated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) held a protest in front of the collector's office at Agartala, on Monday, in support of farmers protesting at the borders of the national capital.
Speaking to ANI, Jitendra Choudhury, member of the CPI (Marxist), said, "Several members of various agrarian organizations have gathered here to express solidarity towards the farmers protesting at Delhi borders. We do not support farm laws."
"Farmers have been sitting at the Delhi borders for the last 19 days to protest against the three black laws. These farm laws will snatch away the land and the rights of our farmers. Thousands of people have gathered here to support the agitation. Our protests will continue till the time the farm laws are withdrawn", the leader added.
Madhya Pradesh Agriculture Minister Kamal Patel has termed farmer unions protest against the new farm laws as "organisations of middlemen and anti-nationals".
"500 farmers'' unions have come up like ''kukurmutta''. They are not farmer unions, but organisations of middlemen and anti-nationals. They are funded by foreign forces who do not want the country to become strong. We will expose them," Mr Patel said on Monday.
Farmers have been protesting on different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws- Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
Noting that the government is ready to accept all good suggestions from farmers about the farm laws, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said it will "convince farmers, explain and find a way through dialogue".
In an interview with ANI, he said dialogue is the only way to find a solution to protest by farmer unions and a break in talks can lead to miscommunication.
The minster, who is Minister of Road Transport and Highways and a senior BJP leader, said there will no injustice with the farmers in the Narendra Modi government.
"The government is ready to accept all good suggestions (from farmers). It will take some time. Our government will convince the farmers, explain and find a way through dialogue," he said.