Farmers Protest March in Delhi: Farmers have been up in arms against the new farm laws

New Delhi:
Punjab farmers, who are protesting against the Centre’s new farm laws, rejected Union home minister Amit Shah’s proposal for a discussion on their grievances. The farmers said the offer was a conditional one – the minister had said they should move their protest to a designation spot in the national capital if they agreed to talks. The farmers’ decision came after a meeting this morning, shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on his monthly radio address Mann ki Baat, showed support for the farm laws, saying the “agricultural reforms” have “unshackled” the farmers and given them “new rights and opportunities”.

Here are the top 10 points in this big story:

  1. “The agricultural reforms in the past few days have also now opened new doors of possibilities for our farmers,” PM Modi said. “The demands that have been made by farmers for years, that every political party, at some point or the other, made the promise to fulfill, those demands have been met,” he added.

  2. Contending that the government is imposing conditions to the talks, the farmers said they would sit on the borders of Delhi for the time being. Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav is part of a 7-member committee of farmers that took the decision to turn down the offer.

  3. The farmers fear that the protest spots the government is suggesting can become jails — an apprehension that started after the Delhi Police suggestion that they be jailed in stadiums. The Arvind Kejriwal government, however, had turned down that proposal.  

  4. On Saturday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had assured the protesters that the government was ready to deliberate on “every problem and demand”.  The Centre, he said, will hold talks with the farmers’ unions on December 3 and if they want discussions before that, they will have to shift their protest to a designated venue.

  5. Jagjit Singh, Bharatiya Kisan Union’s Punjab President, said the farmers have reservations about the offer. Squatting at Singhu border (Delhi-Haryana), Mr Singh said, “Amit Shah ji has called for an early meeting on a condition; it’s not good. He should have offered talks with an open heart without any condition”.

  6. “If the government really wants to hold talks, they should come to the Singhu border. This government does not want to talk to the farmers at all; they just want to show off in front of the country and show everyone that the farmers don’t want a dialogue. We want the farm laws to be scrapped, that is all,” Jaskaran Singh of Kisan Union Amristar said.

  7. At Delhi-Haryana border near Narela, the farmers meanwhile, broke police barricades to enter the national capital.

  8. After battling water cannons, tear gas and police barricades for three days, thousands of farmers several states, including Punjab and Haryana, had reached the gates of Delhi on Friday.  

  9. Those who managed to enter the city are camping at a ground in north Delhi. . Thousands of others remained at border points, undecided whether to go to the demonstration site identified by police. At the Singhu and Tikri borders, thousands of farmers in trucks, tractors and other vehicles, refused to budge.

  10. The farmers have been up against the farm laws, which have allowed them to bypass middlemen and sell directly to any market anywhere in the country. The farmers say the new laws will lead to phasing out of the existing system where they are assured of fixed prices from the government. The new system, they say, will also leave them at the mercy of the big corporates.


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