Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 13
As many as 30 farmers’ unions have decided to attend the meeting with the Centre on Friday and jointly demand that the three Agriculture Laws be revoked.
The prime agenda of the meeting with Agriculture Minister NS Tomar and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal is to ask them to lift the “economic blockade” of Punjab by starting the rail services.
“This will be the primary meeting. We don’t think much will come out of one meeting,” said Harmeet Singh Qadian, president, BKU Qadian.
Speaking on behalf of the 30 unions that are jointly protesting against the Agriculture Laws, Qadian said the very fact that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had withdrawn from being a part of the meeting and that the Centre (using Delhi police) had denied farmers’ the permission to hold a protest in Delhi on November 26 and 27, showed their intent.
Rajinder Singh Deepsinghwala of the Krantikari Kisan Union said it had been decided that thousands of farmers from Punjab would now move to gherao Delhi in tractors on November 26 and 27.
“We will light torches on Diwali as a sign of our ‘sangharsh’”, he said, adding that the festival of lights would be celebrated denying the demand of a “black Diwali” to be observed.
The leaders of the farmers’ union, who met here today to discuss the joint strategy for Friday’s meeting, also demanded that the state government immediately release the pending dues of cane growers from the previous years.
“The neighbouring state of Haryana has increased the state advised price of cane to Rs 350 per quintal while the cane price has remained static in Punjab got the past three years. We demand that we should be given a similar raise in SAP. The state government, too, is ignoring the farmers, which is not being taken kindly,” said Qadian.
The Farm Union representatives will also be demanding from the Centre that taxes on diesel be reduced in wake of the fall in prices of crude oil to benefit the farming community.