Farmers continue protests a day after talks with Centre remain inconclusive
Thousands of farmers, who are have been protesting at the borders of Delhi, on Tuesday continued their agitation on Tuesday as they remained firm on their demands for the repeal of the three farm laws and legal backing for minimum support price (MSP). The seventh round of talks held on Monday to resolve the deadlock over the farm laws remained inconclusive. The farmers’ unions stuck to their demand for a complete repeal of the new farm laws, which they say are pro-corporate, even as the government wanted to discuss only “problematic” clauses or other alternatives. Both the sides will meet again on January 8.
Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that he is “hopeful” that a conclusion will be found in the next round of talks. “We wanted farmer unions to discuss three laws clause-wise. We could not reach any solution as farmer unions remained adamant on the repeal of the laws,” the minister told reporters after the meeting.
The protesting farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been at the border points of the national capital since November 26, braving the bone-chilling cold weather in the region. Sporadic rains have also lashed the national capital in the last couple of days.
Delhi Traffic Police have been posting alerts on its official Twitter handle to inform commuters about road closures across the city. On Tuesday, Delhi Traffic Police said in a series of tweets that the Singhu, Auchandi, Piau Maniyari, Saboli and Mangesh borders are closed for traffic movement. “Please take alternate route via Lampur Safiabad, Palla & Singhu school toll tax borders. Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba & GTK road. Please avoid Outer Ring Road, GTK Road & NH-44,” they said.
“The Chilla and Ghazipur borders are closed for traffic coming from Noida & Ghaziabad to Delhi because of farmer protests. Please take alternate route for coming to Delhi via Anand Vihar, DND, Bhopra & Loni Borders,” it added.
The traffic police said Tikri and Dhansa borders are also closed for traffic movement. “Jhatikara Border is open only for LMV (Cars/Light Motor Vehicles), two wheelers and pedestrian movement,” they said in another tweet.
People travelling to Haryana can take the routes via Jharoda (only single carriageway), Daurala, Kapashera, Badusarai, Rajokri NH-8, Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera borders, they added.
Farmers fear the government will stop buying grain at minimum guaranteed prices under the laws and that corporations will then push prices down. The government said it is willing to pledge that guaranteed prices will continue. They also say the three farm laws will lead to the cartelisation and commercialisation of agriculture and make farmers vulnerable to corporate greed. The farmers have also threatened to hold a rally on January 26 on Republic Day if their demands are not met.
(With agency inputs)