Farmers To Escalate Protest If Deadlock Continues On Monday

Farmers groups said they plan to intensify their protest if the Centre does not take a firm decision on the repeal of the three farm laws during the next round of talks on January 4. Speaking to journalists after an internal meeting on January 1, Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) leaders threatened to shut down malls and petrol pumps in Haryana, hold a tractor march on the Kundli-Manesar highway, and march further towards Delhi on the highway from Jaipur unless their demands are met. Tens of thousands of farmers have been protesting on the borders of Delhi for 38 straight days. After six rounds of talks with the Centre, they have reached in-principle agreements on issues related to stubble burning and power subsidies, but are deadlocked on the major demands to repeal the three Central laws and provide a legal backing for procurement of crops at minimum support prices. “The government seems to be taking the farmers protest lightly. In Shaheen Bagh, they were able to disperse the protestors, so they think they can do the same thing with us. But that will not happen,” said Bharatiya Kisan Union-Tikait group general secretary Yudhvir Singh. “If the government does not take a decision on January 4, then the farmers will have to take a decision,” he added. Bhartiya Kisan Sangharsh Samiti leader Vikas Sisar said the protestors will announce dates to shut down all malls, petrol pumps and toll plazas in Haryana if the deadlock continues. He added that leaders of the BJP and its ally Jannayak Janata Party would face continuous protests in the State. Union leaders also said a tractor march on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal expressway surrounding the capital, which was originally planned for December 30, would be held on January 6 if there was no concrete decision in the negotiations.

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