Won’t go back till laws are repealed, say farmers before 7th round of talks
A day before the seventh round of talks between the protesting farmers and the Centre to resolve the deadlock over farm laws enacted in September last year, a union leader said that it was time that the government lets go of its “stubbornness” as the farmers have been agitating at Delhi borders for 37 days now.
“Today is the 37th day, the government should leave its stubbornness. We won’t go back till laws are taken back. It’s disappointing that farmers are losing their lives. So many farmers are braving the cold yet the government is not taking it seriously,” Onkar Singh demonstrating at the national capital’s Singhu border told news agency ANI.
Farmers’ agitation has been on despite continuous downpour which has led to water-logging. Waterproof tents did not help much, they said. “We will demand repealing 3 farm laws in our meeting tomorrow with govt... It’s been raining, so we’re trying to get waterproof tents although they’re not upto govt standard. We’re trying to arrange blankets and warm water for women & elderly,” Harmeet Singh Kadian, one of the farmers’ leaders said.
Veerpal Singh, a protesting farmer, said their blankets, clothes and wood are soaked. “Our clothes are soaked due to water-logging caused by rains. Besides, we are facing difficulties to cook food as rain water has also soaked firewood. We do have an LPG cylinder but not everyone here has it,” he said.
Another leader Manjeet Singh Rai said they will Lohri on January 13 by burning the copies of farm laws. “We’ll celebrate Kisan Diwas on 23rd Jan, on the occasion of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose birth anniversary,” he further told ANI.
The farm union leaders will meet government representatives for the seventh time on Monday to discuss their two main demands, legal assurance on Minimum Support Price (MSP) and complete rollback of the three farm laws. During the previous round of talks a consensus was reached on issues related to the environment and Electricity Act.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping at three Delhi border points - Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur - for more than a month. The chilling weather in Delhi has failed to deter the farmers from calling off the protest.
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