Won’t end agitation until demands met, says farm leader Sarwan Singh Pandher - Hindustan Times
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Won’t end agitation until demands met, says farm leader Sarwan Singh Pandher

By, Chandigarh
Feb 25, 2024 08:50 AM IST

Farmers at Delhi Chalo protest vow to continue until demands met, may extend beyond election code. Demands include MSP, debt waiver, and more.

Farmers participating in the ‘Delhi Chalo’ call will not end their agitation until their demands are met, farm leader Sarwan Singh Pandher reiterated on Saturday while indicating that the farmers are in for a long haul and stir may continue even after the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls comes into force.

Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher with others addresses the media at the Shambhu Border on Saturday. (PTI)
Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher with others addresses the media at the Shambhu Border on Saturday. (PTI)

Thousands of farmers have been staying put at the Khanauri and Shambhu points on Punjab’s border with Haryana along with their tractor-trolleys and trucks after their march to the national capital to press the Centre for various demands, including a legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) for crops, was stopped by security forces.

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Last Wednesday, the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march, spearheaded by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM), was put on hold by farmer leaders for two days after a protester was killed and around 12 police personnel were injured in clashes at Khanauri. The incident took place when some protesting farmers were trying to head towards barricades.

Speaking to reporters at the Shambhu border point, KMM leader Pandher said they will announce their next course of action on February 29.

“It is certain that this agitation will continue as long as (our) demands are not met. If they (Centre) accept our demands tomorrow, we will take a decision on the agitation,” he said.

About the imposition of the model code of conduct when the Election Commission announces the schedule for the Lok Sabha polls, Pandher said, “We do not have to distribute tickets for MPs. So we do not need to worry about the model code of conduct. We are not going to campaign at polling booths.” “We are not worried (about the code of conduct). We are thinking that the agitation may continue even when the model code of conduct is in force,” the KMM leader added.

According to farmer leaders, the protesters will continue to camp at the two protest sites till February 29 when the next course of action will be decided. Four rounds of talks between farmer leaders and Union minister to end the stalemate failed to achieve any breakthrough.

Besides a legal guarantee for MSP for crops and farm debt waiver, the Punjab farmers are also demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases and “justice” for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, and compensation to the families of the farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020-21.

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