New Delhi, December 9: Farmer leaders Wednesday rejected a government proposal to amend the new agri laws, and announced they would intensify their agitation by blocking the Jaipur-Delhi and the Delhi-Agra expressways by Saturday, and escalating it to a nationwide protest on December 14.
Addressing a press conference here, farmer leader Shiv Kumar Kakka said there was nothing new in the government’s proposal, and that it was “completely rejected” by the ‘Sanyukta Kisan Committee’ in its meeting on Wednesday.
Farmer union leaders termed the proposal an “insult” to the farmers of the country. They, however, said if the government sends a fresh proposal for talks, they may consider it.
The sixth round of talks between the government and farm union leaders, which was scheduled for Wednesday morning, was cancelled.
According to the union leaders, a new Delhi chalo’ (march to Delhi)’ call is being given to all farmers in the north India for December 14, while those in the South will be asked to protest at district headquarters.
The farmer leaders also said they would gherao BJP ministers, the party’s district offices and boycott its leaders on December 14. They said all toll plazas across the country will be made toll-free on December 12.
Darshan Pal, another farmer leader, said the protesters will block all highways to the national capital on December 14, and gherao district headquarters too.
The Centre’s proposal was sent to the farmers on Wednesday, a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah met their 13 representatives over the contentious legislations.
In the proposal, the government had offered to give a “written assurance” to the farmers that the existing Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime for crop procurement will continue.
Pal said the farmers rejected the proposed amendments in the laws as they wanted nothing less than a complete withdrawal of the legislations.
He said the new draft contained what had already been proposed to them by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in his previous meetings with farmer leaders.
Tomar met Home Minister Shah to discuss the next course of action the after farmer leaders rejected the Centre’s draft proposal, sources said
Farmer leader Kakka told the press conference that if the three farm laws are not scrapped, the farmers will also block all the roads leading to Delhi one by one.
Kakka also said there were no difference among farmer unions as was being reported by a section of the media.
Farmer leader Jangvir Singh said, “We will boycott establishments and services owned by Adani and Ambani.”
The farmer leaders also said they would boycott Jio SIM card, and urged people to port out.
They demanded that a law should be brought to give legal backing to the MSP mechanism.
In the draft proposal sent to the farmer unions, the government had also said it was ready to provide all necessary clarifications on their concerns about the new farm laws enacted in September.
It did not, however, mention anything about the main demand of protesting farmers which is to repeal the laws.
The government had also proposed to make necessary amendments on at least seven counts, including one to allay fears about the weakening of the mandi system.
The Home Minister meeting had failed to break the ice with the farm union leaders.
Talking about the meeting with the Home Minister, Kakka claimed, “When we asked Amit Shah as to why the government did not consult farmers before enacting the three laws, he acknowledged that some mistakes had been made.” (PTI)