Farmer leaders reject govt proposal, call for nationwide protest on Dec 14, to block Delhi-Jaipur highway on Dec 12
The farmer unions on Wednesday rejected the proposal sent by the Centre to end the impasse over farm laws. The farmers protesting near national capital Delhi said that they will block the Delhi-Jaipur national highway by December 12 and hold protest demonstrations in many parts of the country on December 14.
The protesters also urged farmers from other states to reach Delhi.
“Agra-Delhi Expressway will be blocked on December 12; no tax to be paid on that day at any toll plaza in country,” farmer leader Darshan Pal said.
“We will block all roads in Delhi one by one if the three farm laws are not scrapped,” the farmer leaders present at the Singhu border (on the Haryana side) near Delhi said. They also said that no decision has been taken on next round of talks with central government.
The protest against the farm laws has been going on since November 26. On Tuesday, the farmers unions had enforced a Bharat Bandh (nationwide strike) from 11 am to 3 pm, which was peaceful. The central government has held five rounds of talks with the farmer leaders, but no breakthrough has been achieved.
Union home minister Amit Shah had called the farmer leaders on Tuesday evening for informal negotiations, and informed them that a list of proposal will be shared with them. That list, with seven proposed amendments, was handed over to the leaders of 13 farm unions on Wednesday.
The leaders held discussions and rejected the proposal on Wednesday. “There is nothing new in government proposal; we will continue our protest against three agri-marketing laws,” farmer leader Prahalad Singh Bharukheda said.
In the proposal, the government had agreed to give a written assurance on continuing the Minimum Support Price (MSP), one of the main concerns raised by the protesters. It had also tried to allay their fears over mandis (marketplace) and taking over of farmlands by big corporates. But the farmers are firm with their demand that the farm laws should be repealed.
Meanwhile, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar reached home minister Amit Shah’s residence on Wednesday evening for discussions.
The farmers are protesting against three newly enacted farm laws - Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.