The protesting farmers will intensify their agitation at Delhi borders if the centre declines their demands of a repeal of the three agriculture laws and giving legal status to the minimum support price guarantee in the next round of talks, scheduled on January 4, politician Yogendra Yadav, speaking on behalf of the farmers’ unions, informed on Friday.
The decision was taken today at a meeting of the joint front of 40 farmers’ unions that has been leading the protests.
“The government hasn’t budged on two of our demands – repealing the laws and legal status to MSP. We will intensify the protests. If nothing comes out of the January 4 meeting, then we will take out a tractor rally on the GT-Karnal road on January 6,” Mr Yadav said at a press conference at Singhu border, the epicentre of the protests.
“If the government doesn’t agree to our demands, we will start marching towards Delhi from Shahjahanpur border next week,” he added.
After the sixth round of the farmer-centre talks on Wednesday, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had said that the two sides had arrived at an “agreement” on two of the four demands.
However, sources say, no progress had been made on the main demands of farmers — the repeal of the laws and a legal guarantee for MSP.
On Friday, at the press conference, farmer leaders alleged that only five percent of the issues raised by them have so far been discussed in meetings with the government.
“If the January 4 meeting with the government fails to end the deadlock, we will announce dates for shutting all malls, petrol pumps in Haryana,” farmer leader Vikas was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and several states have been protesting the three laws in and around the national capital for over a month. They fear the laws will make them susceptible to exploitation by corporate houses. They also claim that through these laws, the centre wants to scrap the minimum support price guarantee.
The government, however, says the laws are not aimed at ending the existing system but providing better avenues to farmers to sell their crops. It has promised that the MSP system will not be scrapped.
With inputs from PTI