Farmers' protest: Won't leave Delhi borders at any cost, says Rakesh Tikait

Farmers’ protest: Won’t leave Delhi borders at any cost, says Rakesh Tikait

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The government is conspiring to shift the farmers’ agitation from Delhi borders to Haryana’s Jind, alleged Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Thursday.

He added that the farmers will now allow this “ploy” to succeed and continue their protests at the first site.“The Central government wants the agitation should shift from Delhi borders to Haryana’s Jind. But we’ll not allow their ploy to succeed,” Tikait told reporters after addressing a farmers’ gathering.

“They want that the agitation centre point is shifted from Delhi borders to Haryana. But we’ll not leave Delhi borders at any cost,” he added.

The farmers’ leader further stated that the protests against three agri laws at various sites in Haryana, including toll plazas, will however continue.

Earlier, addressing the gathering of farmers, he said the agitation won’t end till their demands are met.

With several police cases registered against farmers during the course of their ongoing agitation, Tikait said: “During any agitation, like this, one should be prepared to travel to jail and not be scared of that.”

He said the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which is spearheading the continued farmers’ agitation, will still protest peacefully against the farm laws.Farmer unions were able to hold meetings with the Centre whenever it decides to resume talks, Tikait said, reiterating that the discussion would need to focus on repealing the new farm laws.

“When the govt wants to speak , the Samyukta Kisan Morcha will talk,” he said.The SKM, an umbrella body of over 40 protesting farmer unions, had last month written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking resumption of talks over their demands to repeal the three laws and a legal guarantee for MSP.

“As the top of the govt of the most important democracy within the world, the onus of resuming a significant and sincere dialogue with the farmers lies with you,” the farmers wrote.

So far, there are 11 rounds of talks between the protesting unions and therefore the government, but the deadlock has continued as each side have stuck to their stand.

A government panel had met farmers’ leaders on 22 January. There are no talks between the 2 sides since 26 January when violence broke out during a tractor rally by the farmers.

A large number of farmers had reached Delhi’s borders on 26 November last year after facing water cannons and police barriers as a part of their “Delhi Chalo” march against the Centre’s farm laws.

In the following months, farmers in large numbers from across the country joined the protest at Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur borders round the capital .

Farmers are demanding that the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and therefore the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 be rolled back and a replacement law be made to ensure minimum support price for crops.

The government, however, has maintained that the three central laws are pro-farmer.

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