Protesting farmers turn down Centre’s offer, Modi says farm laws are good

New Delhi: With the farmers’ protest in Delhi becoming the talk of the whole country, a lot of developments are taking place.

Turning down the Union government’s offer to hold talks once they move to the Burari ground, agitating farmers who have been staying put at Delhi’s borders for four days said on Sunday they will not end the blockade and will continue their stir against the new farm laws.

After a meeting of over 30 farmer groups on Sunday, their representatives said they will not move to the Burari ground as it is an ‘open jail’. They said the farmers will not accept any conditional dialogue and will block all five entry points to Delhi.

Speaking to reporters, Surjeet S Phul, Bhartiya Kisan Union’s Punjab president, said, “The condition laid down by Home Minister Amit Shah is not acceptable to us. We will not hold any conditional talks. We reject the government’s offer. The blockade will not end. We will block all five entry point to Delhi.”

“The condition put for talks is an insult to farmers. We will never go to Burari. It is not a park but an open jail,” he added.

After spending another night in the cold, thousands of farmers continued to protest against the Centre’s new agri laws on the fourth consecutive day on Sunday, staying put at the Singhu and Tikri border points.

“We do not accept the condition of their (government) proposal. We are ready to talk but will not accept any condition now,” said Gurnam Singh Chadhoni, Haryana unit president for the Bhartiya Kisan Union.

Darshan Pal, Punjab president of Krantikari Kisan Union, said, “The government has invited us to talk with conditions. The environment should be created for a conversation. We will not talk if there are any conditions”.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had appealed to the farmers to shift to the Burari ground and had said the Centre was ready to hold discussions with them as soon as they move to the designated place.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Sunday that these reforms have opened doors of new opportunities for farmers and bestowed on them new rights.

In his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ broadcast, Modi said the farm laws have begun mitigating the troubles of farmers in a short period of time since their enactment in September as he cited the example of a Maharashtra farmer who used their provisions to get the money a trader had promised but not paid to him in time.

New dimensions related to agriculture and related fields have emerged as the recently enacted farm reforms have opened doors of new possibilities for farmers, he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday asked the Centre to immediately and unconditionally hold talks with the farmers who continued to protest against the new agri laws staying put at the Singhu and Tikri border points of the national capital for the fourth consecutive day.

AAP leader Sanjay Singh said that his party demands that Home Minister Amit Shah should first resolve the issues of the farmers by listening to them.


NT Bureau