After talks with Union ministers, farmers say will still head to Parliament on Feb 13
After holding talks with Union ministers, including Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, representatives of farmers on Thursday announced they would go on with their march to the Parliament on February 13 over their demands.-
After holding talks with Union ministers, including Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, representatives of farmers on Thursday announced they would go on with their march to the Parliament on February 13 over their demands.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann was mediating between them.
At the same time, the representatives admitted the meeting convened in Chandigarh was held in a congenial atmosphere and they expressed their concerns over the delay in implementation of demands, including a law to guarantee minimum support price (MSP) for crops.
But they said they were open for the further talks ahead of the proposed protest.
Their other demands included compensation to the next kin of farmers who died in the previous protest on the borders of Delhi and crop insurance.
A team of three Union ministers, also comprising Nityanand Rai and Arjun Munda, and a central government delegation were rushed to Chandigarh to meet representatives of protesting farmers.
Farmers leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal told the media after the conclusion of the talks that "Dilli Chalo" protest to press for their demands would continue on February 13.
"If the Modi government wants to redress our grievances, they can by accept our demands, including a legal guarantee of a MSP for crops in the ongoing session of Parliament.
"We are always open to talks. If they invite us for the talks ahead of our February 13 protest, we will come again. At this point in time, we can say we will go for our proposed protest. Farmers in villages across Punjab are gearing up to reach Delhi on that day,” Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Sidhupur) President Dallewal added.
Dilli Chalo’ is an indefinite protest akin to November 2020 protest against the farm laws. Members of the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha and the Samyukta Kisan Morcha are readying tractors and storing rations for travel to the national capital.
Meanwhile, in view of the call given by the farmers to hold a march, Punjab and Haryana Police forces have beefed up the security in the respective states, including border areas, to prevent untoward incidents, officials said.
"Heavy traffic is expected on the highways leading to the national capital from Punjab and Haryana this weekend," a police official told IANS here.
As a preventive measure, paramilitary forces would be deployed along with the police and special barricades have been installed on the entry points between Punjab and Haryana and Haryana and Delhi, said the official.
Ahead of the planned protest by farmers of both states, tens of thousands of farmers from Uttar Pradesh have gathered in Noida, demanding increased compensation and developed plots in exchange for local development authorities acquiring their farmlands for infrastructure and other projects. The protesters were seen trying to jump over the barricades placed there. The police in both states have also issued a traffic advisory, cautioning commuters in view of farmers' movement on tractors.