Farmers reject govt proposal, to accentuate stir

Mukesh Tandon

Tribune News Service

Sonepat, December 9

Farmer leaders today rejected a Union Government proposal to amend the contentious agricultural laws and said they would intensify their agitation with a nationwide protest on December 14.

They also said they would “choke” the national Capital by December 12 by blocking the Jaipur-Delhi and the Delhi-Agra expressways and all other roads leading to Delhi if their demands were not met.

EDIT:Climbdown on farm laws

Terming the proposal an “insult” to the farmers of the country, they, however, said if the government sent a fresh proposal of talks, they may consider it.

In a draft proposal sent to the 13 farmer unions whose representatives Home Minister Amit Shah had met late on Tuesday, the government proposed to give a “written assurance” that the existing minimum support price (MSP) regime for procurement will continue. It proposed to make necessary amendments on at least seven issues (see box).

In the proposal, sent by Agriculture Ministry Joint Secretary Vivek Aggarwal, the government said it was ready to consider with an open heart the objections raised on the farm laws.

Addressing the media later, farmer leaders, including Jangvir Singh Doaba, Rakesh Tikait, Shiv Kumar Kakka, Darshan Pal Singh and Dr Ashok Dhavle, said there was nothing new in the proposal and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had offered the same to them at earlier meetings.

It was “completely rejected” by the ‘Sanyukta Kisan Committee’ (united forum of farmers), a body representing various farmers’ unions, they said. Doaba said the Jaipur-Delhi and the Delhi-Agra highways would be sealed to “choke” the Capital. The nationwide protest on December 14 would be organised at the district level, he said. “The farmers will gherao BJP leaders and the party’s offices,” he said.

Kakka said they had informed Shah about their “deadline” to repeal the three “black” laws and for a legal guarantee on the MSP. The unions have also decided to boycott the products of certain corporate houses whom they feared the Centre wanted to benefit through the farm laws.

Threaten to block all highways to capital

The farmers on Wednesday called for a district-level nationwide protest on December 14. The protesters also threatened to choke the national Capital by December 12 by blocking the Jaipur-Delhi and the Delhi-Agra expressways and all other roads leading to Delhi.

Changes proposed only in 2 legislations

The government has proposed seven amendments to the two new laws — The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020. It, however, has not touched The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

15 protesters lose lives in two weeks

Chandigarh: Fifteen farmers have died since the protest started on the outskirts of Delhi about a fortnight ago. On an average, a farmer is dying daily at Singhu and Tikri borders. Four farmers died in accidents, 10 of heart attack and one due to cold. inside

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