Rejecting Amit Shah’s offer of talks, reinforcements join protesting farmers at Delhi border

Farmers' protest nationwide, led by Punjab farmers: Medha Patkar

Politics

November 30, 2020

/ By and / New Delhi

Rejecting Amit Shah’s offer of talks, reinforcements join protesting farmers at Delhi border

Despite the uphill task before them, farmers are determined to get the government accept their demands (MIG photos/Aman Kanojiya)

Rejecting union home minister Amit Shah’s offer of holding talks if they accepted Burari as a protest site, farmers continue their protests at Delhi’s various borders and say they are in it for the long haul.

The farmers unions unanimously rejected on Sunday union home minister Amit Shah’s offer of holding talks provided the farmers moved to Burari as a protest site. “Shah’s offer was conditional and it has been rejected after a meeting of the coordination committee of over 500 farmers’ unions from across the country. We want the right to hold the protest at Jantar Mantar, the Boat Club or the Ramlila Maidan and only then we will go for unconditional talks where the government will listen to our demands,” Comrade Satyawan, national secretary of All India Kisan and Krushak Mazdoor Sangh, and an important farm leader from Haryana tells Media India Group.

Rejecting statements by government officials that only Punjab and Haryana farmers were upset by the farm bills, convenor of the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) and founder of Narmada Bachao Andolan Medha Patkar said that the statements were being made by the government and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in order to spread confusion and disinformation. “It is true that the Punjab and Haryana farmers are at the forefront of the agitation and we all salute them. But, the issue has evoked protests all over the country and farmers in different states – Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana or Andhra Pradesh are equally upset over the farm laws and thousands of them are enroute to the national capital to join the Punjab and Haryana farmers. But the governments in BJP-ruled states have put up barricades to stop them there and hence it is taking them time to reach Delhi. Already, hundreds of farmers who had been stopped in western Uttar Pradesh have reached Delhi today and over the next couple of days hundreds more will reach here,’’ Patkar tells Media India Group, after she held day-long consultations with farmers leaders at the Singhu border.

Medha Patkar says the protest is against the government and large corporates (MIG photos/Aman Kanojiya)

Medha Patkar says the protest is against the government and large corporates (MIG photos/Aman Kanojiya)

“Tomorrow farmers leaders from all over the state and all the districts will gather at Tikri border to decide the future course of action. In the meanwhile, farmers from Haryana keep on arriving here, adding to the people already staging protest here,” adds Satyawan.

“The farmers position, their space, their dignity and their rights can only be protected if we fight and win against inequity and injustice that is faced by the farmers in the larger sense of the term because there is a huge disparity created and promoted by the economy and the polity of this country,” says Patkar.

Patkar says that even if the epicentre of the farmers’ protest remains at New Delhi, protests are going on in all the key farming states and over the next few days these are expected to become bigger. “Our aim is to create a major protest site in each of the states across the country because farmers all over India are angry over the farm laws. It will also show to the nation that the farmers are united in their opposition to these bills which only act to strengthen the hold of large companies over agriculture and is part of the programme of Narendra Modi government to hand over all sectors of the economy to a chosen few industrialists, instead of helping even the smallest of the farmers become self sustaining,” Patkar tells Media India Group.

With more farmers expected to arrive from states like Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh over the next few days and with no let up in the enthusiasm and grit of the farmers already camping at Delhi’s borders, it is evident that these protests are going to last a while yet. Even though the government reinforced presence of the security forces at the borders in perhaps a show of muscles, the farmers seemed far from being impressed or deterred.

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