New Delhi: As the farmers protest on Friday entered 9th day, the agitators threatened to intensify their protest further and called for Bharat Bandh on December 8. Farmer leaders further stated that they will block more roads leading to the national capital if the Centre does not accept their demands in the 5th round of talks which will happen with the government on Saturday. Also Read - Complete Withdrawal: Farmer Unions Reject Government Proposal To Put Laws On Hold for 18 Months
However, the Centre, looking at the unending protests of the farmers, said it has worked out possible solutions to the provisions on which the farmer leaders have raised objections in a bid to break the deadlock. Also Read - Centre Ready to Suspend Farm Laws for 1.5 Years, Next Round of Talks to be Held on Jan 22
Earlier in the day, holding a meeting, the farmer leaders decided the future course of action and said if the Centre on Saturday does not accept their demand of repealing the three farm laws, they will intensify their agitation. Also Read - Amid Cold Waves, Protesting Farmers Start Facility for Ironing Clothes at Singhu Border
Protest to continue
“In our meeting today, we have decided to give a Bharat bandh call on December 8 during which we will also occupy all toll plazas,” Harinder Singh Lakhwal, general secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Union, said.
He said that farmers will protest against the Central government and corporate houses and burn their effigies on Saturday, adding that on December 7, sportspersons will return their medals in solidarity with the farmers.
Furthermore, the farmer leaders sought that the Centre should call a special session of Parliament to repeal the new farm laws, adding that they do not want amendments but their scrapping.
Meeting with Centre today
On Saturday, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar will lead the government side and other ministers include Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State of Commerce and Industry Som Parkash.
In the previous meeting on Thursday, Tomar had assured 40 farmer union leaders that the government is open to considering ways to strengthen APMC mandis, create a level-playing field with proposed private markets, and provide a provision for approaching higher courts for dispute resolution, while asserting that procurement at minimum support price (MSP) will continue.
But the farmers stuck to their demand of repealing the three “hastily-passed” farm laws, saying that the legislations with several loopholes and deficiencies cannot be amended.
Sitharaman on farms laws
In the meantime, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the farm reform legislations were brought in after elaborate stakeholder consultations and a lot of homework, and will benefit farmers. Asserting that the reforms were not done in a jiffy, she said the agriculture minister is meeting farmers with an open mind and hoped that a solution will be found soon.
On Friday, Delhi’s border points remained choked as thousands of farmers from Haryana, Punjab, and other states held demonstrations for the ninth consecutive day. Traffic moved at snail’s pace at several border points of the national capital as police kept key routes connecting Delhi to Haryana and Uttar Pradesh closed.
India slams Trudeau’s remarks
Earlier in the day, India summoned Canadian High Commissioner Nadir Patel and told him that the comments made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others in his cabinet on the farmers’ protest constituted an “unacceptable interference” in the country’s internal affairs and these actions, if continued, will have a “seriously damaging” impact on the bilateral ties.