A day ahead of the next round of talks with the Centre, farmers protesting against the newly-passed agriculture laws on Friday, announced a ‘Bharat Bandh’ on December 8 and threatened to occupy toll plazas on that day, PTI reported.
Addressing a press conference, farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chadoni said if the Centre does not accept their demands during Saturday’s talks, they will intensify their agitation.
“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,” said Harinder Singh Lakhowal, General Secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Union. “We have planned to block all roads leading to Delhi in the coming days if new farm laws are not scrapped.”
Lakhowal was addressing the press conference on behalf of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a joint front of the farmers, according to The Hindu. He said that the decision to seek a repeal of the three laws was reached unanimously after two rounds of talks - the first between the leaders of Punjab farmers organisations and the second with farmers’ unions across the country.
He also said that farmers will protest against the central government and the corporate houses and burn their effigies on December 5, adding that on December 7, sportspersons will return their medals in solidarity with the farmers, PTI reported.
Farmers from Rajasthan, Telangana, Rajasthan and Maharashtra were also present during Friday’s press conference held by the agitating farmers.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, the farmers’ body of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, also extended its support towards the demand of ensuring Minimum Support Price in government and private-run mandis (wholesale markets) on Friday, News18 reported.
Earlier in the day, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee spoke to various farmers’ groups protesting at Delhi’s Singhu border and assured her support for their demands, reported PTI. Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien visited the agitating farmers on Friday afternoon and accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of selling farmers’ rights to corporate houses.
On Thursday, the talks between the Centre and representatives of farmers’ union remained inconclusive, with the two parties agreeing to meet again on December 5. However at the end of Thursday’s talks, one of the farmer leaders expressed hope that the matter will be “finalised” in the next meeting, while the government said that it has “no ego” and was dealing with the matter with “an open mind”.