Farmer leader's 'whatever happens now' warning to Centre ahead of Feb 21 protest | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Farmer leader's 'whatever happens now' warning to Centre ahead of Feb 21 protest

Feb 20, 2024 08:47 AM IST

Sarwan Singh Pandher said on Tuesday morning that the government has made its intentions clear that it will not let them enter Delhi.

New Delhi: Hours after farmers leading the 'Delhi Chalo' agitation rejected the Centre's proposal to procure pulses, maize and cotton at MSP, farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher has warned the BJP-led government that it will be responsible for "whatever happens now".

Farmers rest during a protest to demand minimum crop prices, near the Haryana-Punjab state border at Shambhu in Patiala district about 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of New Delhi on February 19, 2024. (AFP)
Farmers rest during a protest to demand minimum crop prices, near the Haryana-Punjab state border at Shambhu in Patiala district about 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of New Delhi on February 19, 2024. (AFP)

After the talks with the government failed, the protesting farmers have announced they will continue their march to Delhi on Wednesday, February 21.

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Pandher said on Tuesday morning that the government has made its intentions clear that it will not let them enter Delhi.

"The intention of the government was very clear that they would not let us enter Delhi at any cost...If you don't want to find a solution through discussion with farmers then we should be allowed to march towards Delhi," he told ANI.

Referring to the police taking unprecedented measures to stall the march, Pandher said the situation in Haryana is comparable to that of Kashmir.

"When we moved towards Delhi, shelling happened...Bullets were also used on the tyres of the tractors...DGP Haryana has said that they are not using tear gas on farmers...We demand punishment for those using it then...Wrong statements are also being given...The situation in Haryana is like that of Kashmir. We will march towards Delhi on Feb 21...The govt has given us a proposal so that we backtrack from our original demands...The government will be responsible for whatever happens now," he added.

In the fourth round of talks with farmer leaders, a panel of three Union ministers on Sunday proposed buying of pulses, maize and cotton crops by government agencies at minimum support prices (MSP) for five years.

Also read: Farmers protest: What Centre proposed to farm leaders at key round 4 meeting?

On Monday, the protesting farmers rejected the government's proposal, saying it seeks to "divert and dilute" the farmers' demand for MSP.

They said the farmers will not settle for anything less than what was recommended by the Swaminathan Commission report.

Pandher said yesterday that the government should allow them to proceed to Delhi.

"We will move to Delhi peacefully at 11 am on February 21," he said.

The farmers are demanding that the government enact a law for declaring all crops at minimum support prices. The government says MSP on all crops will burden the national exchequer.

Earlier this month, the police shot teargas shells in BJP-ruled Haryana at the protesting farmers.

Also read: Police gear up to stop Manesar farmers’ protest march to PM house in Delhi

Pandher on Monday said the farmers didn't break the barricades and wanted to move towards Delhi peacefully. They wanted a place for their protest at Jantar Mantar but the government didn't listen.

"We only want to get our demands met, but if the government does not listen, then we are compelled. On one side are the farmers, on the other side are the 'jawans' (police and paramilitary). We do not want any violence. If the government indulges in 'jabar' (oppression), then people of the country will think whether such people should be in power or not," Pandher had said.

The protesters are also demanding pension for farmers, debt waiver, reinstatement of the 2013 Land Acquisition Act among other demands.

With inputs from PTI, ANI

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