Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 30
The standoff between the Centre and the agitating protesters persists with PM Narendra Modi on Monday stoutly defending the three agriculture laws, assuring the farmers that the intentions of his government were as “pure as Ganga”, and the farm unions reiterating that their demands were “non-negotiable”.
Late in the evening, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar invited 32 farm unions for talks at 3 pm tomorrow at Vigyan Bhawan.
The unions, camping at the Delhi borders, claimed that Union Home Minister Amit Shah had called “just some of them”. Demanding that those camping at Nirankari Ground in Burari be allowed to return to the Singhu border, they stressed they would not change their stand on the three “black” agri laws and warned the PM to listen to their ‘mann ki baat’ or else the government would have to “pay dearly” for it.
In Varanasi, addressing a public meeting, the PM said: “We are seeing a new trend in the country. Protests are based on creating doubts through misinformation. We must remember that those doing so are the ones who had for decades deceived the farmers.” He also claimed that crops worth much more were procured during the first tenure of his BJP-led NDA government than during the Congress-led UPA-II government. The PM said that small farmers would now be able to take legal action on deals struck outside the mandis, which would protect them from being cheated. “I want to tell them (farmers) that our intentions are as pure as Ganga… Those who have doubts about these laws will see the benefits in future,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, more protesters have converged on the borders of the national Capital, prompting the Delhi Police to enhance security and place concrete barriers at all entry points from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
The farmers, who had on Sunday announced that they would block five points of entry into Delhi in the coming days, said they had come for a decisive battle. Peaceful protests continued for the fifth day at the Singhu and Tikri borders.
‘Can’t weaken our resolve’
Flaying the government for its ‘farmers being misled’ claim, Sanyukt Kisan Morcha leader GS Charuni said: “We want to tell Modi if they (govt) think our resolve will weaken, they are mistaken. Let this be a warning. He (PM) should defuse the situation at the earliest or else we may have to take harsher steps.” An angry Balbir S Rajewal of the BKU said: “The PM has a forked-tongue. He is selling the country to corporates.”
Amit Shah assesses situation
After his meeting with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Agri Minister Narendra Singh Tomar at the Delhi residence of BJP chief JP Nadda on Sunday night, Union Home Minister Amit Shah met Tomar again on Monday morning for an assessment of the ground situation.
The farmers are being deceived on these historic agriculture reform laws by the same people who have misled them for decades. Narendra Modi, PM