Farmers’ protest enters 15th day, ‘No rift among our unions,’ say protesters

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
Dec 10, 2020 11:59 AM IST

With no communication from Centre after farmers announced to intensify their stir, the impasse is likely to continue. The farmers may send a rejoinder to Centre’s proposals which they have rejected.

The ongoing farmers’ protests which laid a siege to the national Capital entered its 15th day on Thursday, a day after the farmers rejected Centre’s final proposal of amendments to the three farm laws and announced a bigger movement. The stalemate is likely to continue as there is no further meeting scheduled between farmers and the Centre.

A farmer washes utensils during the ongoing protest against new farm laws at Singhu border in New Delhi (Photo by Biplov Bhuyan/ Hindustan Times)(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
A farmer washes utensils during the ongoing protest against new farm laws at Singhu border in New Delhi (Photo by Biplov Bhuyan/ Hindustan Times)(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)

More protesters will be joining the agitating farmers from today onwards and, according to their plan, the Delhi-Jaipur highway will be blocked by December 12. On December 14, there will be a nationwide protest.

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With the protest now facing a dead end, with no communication from the Centre after the farmers rejected its proposal, there are speculations of a rift among farmer unions which they have dismissed. Over 30 unions of farmers are spearheading the protest and the rumours of a division started doing the rounds on the day the union leaders were called for a meeting with Union home minister Amit Shah. It was decided that the meeting would take place at Shah’s residence and accordingly a few leaders reached his residence at the given time. But later the meeting was shifted to Indian Council of Agriculture Research. Two leaders reportedly had walked out of the meeting over the confusion but later joined.

“We take decisions unanimously. It is about consensus and not cannot be that some people are agreeing to it and others are not. If all unions say the laws should be scrapped, that’s our decision...There is no question of having a personal opinion,” Shiv Kumar said dismissing speculations of a rift.

“In all five meetings with the farmer unions, the government held marathon discussions on the same points (that figured in the proposal). Finally, we asked them (government) to answer in ‘yes or no’…whether they want to repeal the three new laws and guarantee MSP or not?” Kakka said.

Where does the protest stand now?

Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Jagmohan Singh said farmer leaders are open to continuing the dialogue. “We will come for the meeting if the government invites, but our demand should be met. It has become a mass movement. We cannot return to our villages with empty hands,” he said. The farmers may send a rejoinder to the Centre.

Agriculture minister Narendra Tomar is likely to make an appeal to the farmers to end their agitation and work with the government, ANI said.

(With PTI inputs)

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