Tribune News Service
New Delhi/Sonepat, January 21
Protesting farmers’ unions on Thursday rejected the Centre’s proposal to suspend three contentious farm laws for 18 months.
In a full general body meeting of the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, the proposal put forth by the government on Wednesday was rejected, Sankyukt Kisan Morcha said in a statement.
A full repeal of three central farm acts and enacting a legislation for remunerative MSP for all farmers were reiterated as the pending demands of the movement.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha also paid homage to the 143 farmers who died during the agitation so far. “Their sacrifice will not go in vain and we will not go back without the repealing of these farm laws,” the morcha said.
In the meeting held with the police officials, the police requested to not to conduct the parade in Delhi, while the farmers restated their plan about doing the parade on the outer ring road of Delhi.
“This peaceful movement is becoming people’s movement and getting nationwide. Farmers are uniting for Republic Day through vehicle rallies in many places in Karnataka. Farmers tractor marches are taking place in many places in Kerala,” the statement said.
The meeting between Delhi Police and farmer unions ended with farmers not yielding over holding tractor rally on Republic Day.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Northern Range) SS Yadav coordinated the meeting held at Mantram Resort near the Singhu border.
Sanyukt Kisan Morcha leaders said the farmers across the country arriving in Delhi would hold the tractor parade inside Delhi on January 26.
Emerging from meeting with officials, Balbir Singh Rajewal said the government was firm that farmers should not march on Outer Ring Road. However, unions are also firm that there is no other alternative, he said.
A similar meeting was held on Wednesday between the union leaders and officers of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana Police at Vigyan Bhawan to discuss the route and arrangements of the proposed rally on January 26.
However, the farmer unions had rejected a suggestion by the police officers to hold the rally on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway instead of Delhi’s busy Outer Ring Road, sources said.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at several Delhi border points against the Centre’s new agriculture laws for nearly two months. The unions representing the farmers have begun holding tractor rallies at villages in Punjab to mobilise people for the demonstration on Republic Day.
Enacted in September last year, the three laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws will pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of MSP and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates. With PTI inputs