Farmer groups say no political parties will be allowed to speak at protests, term Burari site as ‘open jail’
Bharatiya Kisan Union Krantikari-wing’s president Surjeet S Phul on Sunday said that no political party will be allowed to speak at the protest site on behalf or for the farmers. The farmers also said that they will not move to the designated protest site at Burari and termed the ground an open-air prison.
Phul, while speaking to ANI, said, “We’ve decided that we won’t allow any political party leader to speak on our stage, be it Congress, BJP, AAP or other parties. Our Committee will allow other organisations, who are supporting us, to speak if they follow our rules.”
Phul reiterated the demands of the farmer bodies and said that talks with Centre will be held unconditionally and said that farmer groups protesting at Singhu border will not move to the DDA ground in north Delhi’s Burari which has been earmarked for the protests by the Centre.
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Terming the protest site an open jail, he said, “Instead of going to open jail in Burari, we’ve decided that we will gherao Delhi by blocking five main entry points to Delhi. We’ve 4 months ration with us, so nothing to worry about. Our Operations Committee will decide everything.”
The agitation staged by more than 30 farmer bodies has entered its fourth day. The farmers began their Delhi Chalo march on Thursday night. The protesters clashed with the police across several border checkpoints in the Punjab-Haryana border. Police on Thursday also fired tear gas shells and sprayed gusts of water at the protesting farmers using water cannons.
The farmers have also rejected the Centre’s proposal to speak to the Home ministry. They have demanded that the Union government set up a high-profile cabinet committee to address the grievances of the farmers. Home minister Amit Shah who on Sunday said that he does not consider the protests to be political had invited farmers to discuss issues concerning the three farm bills passed in Parliament during the monsoon session.
Farmers are demanding a rollback of the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill; the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill. Farmers fear that these bills will help large corporations to earn more profits and affect the procurement of farm yields under the minimum support price system.