India / Repeal farm laws or we'll block rail tracks: Farmers' ultimatum to Centre

Zoom News : Dec 10, 2020, 09:27 PM
New Delhi: Farmers protesting against the government's new farm laws on Thursday held a press conference at the Delhi-Haryana border and said that they will block railway tracks if their demands are not met and will announce the date soon.

"We will block railway tracks if our demands are not met. We will decide on the date and announce it soon," farmer leader Boota Singh said.

Addressing reporters at the Singhu border, where they have been protesting for almost two weeks, farmers said they have decided to block all toll plazas by 12 December and will sit on dharna in front of DC offices.

The farmer unions also reiterated that they will intensify their agitation and start blocking all highways leading to Delhi.

"Now not just Punjab, but all farmers will go and take the protest to railway tracks across India," the farmers said in the press meet.

"Jaipur-Delhi road to be jammed and continue to remain jammed," they said.

If the Centre will repeal these laws, what is going to be the govt’s loss?" the farm leaders added.

"Centre has admitted that laws have been made for traders. If agriculture is a state subject, Central govt does not have right to make laws on it," Balbir Singh Rajewal, another leader said.

Meanwhile, Harsimrat Kaur Badal tweeted over farmers' protest, saying: "On the day the foundation was laid for new #ParliamentBuilding, GOI should have repealed agri laws & promised to reframe them in consultation with #farmers instead of rejecting their demands outrightly. Let us strengthen the spirit of democracy first. Buildings can come up later."

'Farm laws don't impact MSP'

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said that the government wanted to liberate the farmers of the shackles of mandi so that they could sell their produce anywhere, to anyone, at their own price, outside the purview of mandi.

Tomar also said that the Centre kept waiting for suggestions from farmers' leaders to address their concerns, but they are stuck on the repeal of laws.

The Agriculture Minister reiterated that the MSP has no relation to the three farm laws. "They don’t impact MSP," Tomar said.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting at various border points in the national capital for around two weeks, seeking a repeal of the "controversial" farm laws, which they claim were aimed at benefitting corporates by weakening the mandi system and the minimum support price regime for procurement of farm produce.

The agitating farmers on Wednesday had rejected the revised government proposal that gave assurances on MSP and the mandi system.