New Delhi: A team of Union ministers on Monday evening engaged in discussions with farmer leaders in Chandigarh to persuade them against their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march, as tractor-trolleys from various parts of Punjab began their journey to join the protest.
In anticipation of the farmers’ arrival, Delhi witnessed a significant deployment of police and paramilitary forces, along with reinforced barricades at Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur borders to block their entry into the city on Tuesday, reported PTI.
On the meeting between Central Ministers and farmer leaders, farmer leader Ranjeet Singh Raju, “Meeting is underway, can’t give any statement till the meeting concludes. No agreements made so far.”
#WATCH | Chandigarh: On the meeting between Central Ministers and farmer leaders, Ranjeet Singh Raju, a farmer leader says, ” Meeting is underway, can’t give any statement till the meeting concludes. No agreements made so far…” pic.twitter.com/g6jR15WA56
— ANI (@ANI) February 12, 2024
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha have announced that more than 200 farmer unions would head to Delhi to press the Centre to accept their demands, including the enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.
Union ministers, including Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal and Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda, held a second round of discussions with farmer leaders in Chandigarh, aiming to find common ground. Jagjit Singh Dallewal from SKM (Non-Political) and Sarwan Singh Pandher from Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee participated in the meeting, which extended late into the evening, as per the PTI report.
Earlier in the day, tractor-trolleys in large numbers set out from different parts of Punjab to join the planned farmers’ march towards Delhi.
Besides a legal guarantee for MSP, farmers are also demanding implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, pensions for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, withdrawal of police cases, and “justice” for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, withdrawal from the World Trade Organisation, and compensation for families of farmers who died during the previous 2020 agitation, among others, PTI reported.
The first meeting with the Union ministers was held on February 8 in which detailed discussions with the leaders of farmer organisations took place.
SKM Clarifies Has Not Given ‘Delhi Chalo’ Call
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Monday clarified that it did not give the ‘Delhi Chalo’ call for February 13.
SKM along with the central trade unions (CTUs) has given a call for a nationwide strike and rural bandh on February 16. Several other unions and sectoral organisations have supported the call.
The ‘Delhi Chalo’ call for February 13 has been given by Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-political), a splinter group of the original SKM, and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha.
SKM expressed anguish over the Narendra Modi government’s handling of the protests by erecting iron nails, barbed wires, and concrete barricades on the highways in Punjab and Delhi borders.
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