Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait on Saturday said that the protestors will not go back to their homes till the Centre does not meet their demands, reported NDTV. Tikait was addressing farmers at Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, during the three-hour countrywide road blockade or “chakka jam” to intensify their agitation against the new farm laws.
“We will not return home unless our demands are met,” Tikait said. “We have given time to the government till October 2 to repeal the laws. After that, we will do further planning. We will not hold discussions with the government under pressure.”
Tikait, who has been one of the most prominent faces of the farmers’ protest, shot further into limelight after a video of him went viral last month where he tearfully declared that he would rather die by suicide than end the agitation, after the Ghazipur administration ordered to vacate the site. Since then, he has warned the Centre of losing power if it does not meet the farmers’ demands and asserted that the protests will continue.
Meanwhile, farmers across the country held a road block demonstration, or “chakka jam”, to protest against the Centre’s handling of the agitation as well as the budgetary allocations made this year for agriculture. Roads were, however, not blocked in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping out on the outskirts of Delhi for over two months, with ten rounds of talks between the government and farmers’ groups failing to resolve the deadlock. Farmers’ around-the-clock sit-ins in cold weather have already led to several deaths among them. The farmers believe that the new laws undermine their livelihood and open the path for the corporate sector to dominate agricultural.
The government, on the other hand, maintains that the new laws will give farmers more options in selling their produce, lead to better pricing, and free them from unfair monopolies. The law passed in September are meant to overhaul antiquated procurement procedures and open up the market, the government has claimed.