Impasse: Union Agriculture Minister Tomar meets Rajnath to firm up strategy
Tribune News Service
Sonepat, January 3
Ahead of the seventh round of talks with the Centre on Monday, Punjab’s farm unions announced that they would burn copies of the three contentious farm laws on Lohri (January 13) and celebrate January 23 — Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary — as ‘Azad Kisan Diwas’.
Representatives of the unions at a press conference here condemned the lathi-charge on farmers protesting against BJP leaders in Sangrur. Harmeet Singh Kadian said: “We will only focus on the repeal of farm laws and MSP during our meeting with the Centre on Monday.” In a statement, the All-India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee said the success of Monday’s talks would depend entirely on the repeal of three farm laws.
Union leader Onkar Singh urged the Centre to discard obduracy and repeal the “black” laws. Jangveer Singh Chauhan observed that the protest had been peaceful for the past 37-38 days but some political leaders were trying to provoke the farmers. He also said they had sent a letter on sugarcane rates to the Punjab Government but had yet to receive a response. “We will decide whether or not to hold a tractor march on Republic Day after tomorrow’s meeting,” Kadian said. Farmers camping at Singhu and Tikri had a tough time owing to overnight rains. Waterproof tents were of little help. Meanwhile, farmers from Maharashtra on Sunday left Nagpur for Delhi to join the protesters.
Haryana cops use force to halt march
The Haryana Police on Sunday fired tear gas shells to thwart a march by a group of farmers proceeding towards Delhi at the Masani barrage in Rewari. The farmers, who broke barricades, had been camping at the service lane of Delhi-Jaipur highway for several days.