Farmers reject govt proposal on agri laws, opposition delegation meets President

NEW DELHI, 9 Dec: Farmer leaders Wednesday rejected a government proposal on the three contentious agriculture-marketing laws, and said they would intensify their agitation against the legislations with a nationwide protest on 14 December.

They also said they will block the Jaipur-Delhi and the Delhi-Agra expressways on or before 12 December, and all the roads entering into the national capital, one-by-one, if their demands are unmet.

Farmer leader Shiv Kumar Kakka told a press conference here that there was nothing new in the government’s proposal sent to them on Wednesday, and that it was “completely rejected” by the ‘Sanyukta Kisan Committee’.

Farmer leader Jangvir Singh said that their unions may consider if the government sends another proposal.

Kakka said the farmers have decided to intensify their agitation, and that they will block all roads leading to Delhi one by one if the three farm laws are not scrapped.

Another farmer leader, Darshan Pal, said the proposals sent by Union Home Minister Amit Shah contained the same things as Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told farmer leaders in previous meetings.

All the highways to Delhi will be blocked on 14 December as part of the nationwide protest, he said.

The Union Home Minister had Tuesday evening met 13 representatives of the protesting farmers, but their talk failed to break the impasse.

The farmers continue to protest at several border points of Delhi, demanding the government scrap all the three laws.

The government has been defending these laws, saying they will benefit the farmers in the long run and raise their incomes.

Meanwhile, opposition parties on Wednesday met President Ram Nath Kovind and sought repeal of the three farm laws against which thousands of farmers have been protesting on various borders of the national capital.

The five-member delegation of opposition leaders included Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary D Raja and DMK leader TKS Elangovan.

The opposition leaders submitted a memorandum to the President that said, “We urge upon you, as the custodian of the Indian Constitution, to persuade your government not to be obdurate and accept the demands raised by India’s annadatas.”

The memorandum also said, “The new agri-laws, passed in Parliament in an anti-democratic manner preventing a structured discussion and voting, threaten India’s food security, destroy Indian agriculture and our farmers, lay the basis for the abolishment of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and mortgage Indian agriculture and our markets to the caprices of multi-national agri-business corporates and domestic corporates.”

The memorandum to President further said that more than 20 different political parties, including many parties running state governments, have extended their solidarity with the ongoing historic struggle of the Indian peasantry and extended wholehearted support to their call for a Bharat Bandh on December 8, demanding the repeal of the retrograde agri-laws and the Electricity Amendment Bill. (PTI)