Farmers issue ultimatum, threaten to shut malls

Chennai: Farmer unions protesting at Delhi borders have issued an ultimatum to the government, stating that if the government doesn’t budge from its stance by 4 January, they will take out a tractor rally and might have to shut petrol pumps and malls.

Politician Yogendra Yadav, speaking on behalf of the farmers’ unions, informed on Friday, that they will intensify their agitation at Delhi borders if the centre declines their demands of a repeal of the three agriculture laws and giving legal status to the minimum support price guarantee in the next round of talks, scheduled on 4 January.

The decision was taken Friday at a meeting of the joint front of 40 farmers’ unions that has been leading the protests.

“The government hasn’t budged on two of our demands – repealing the laws and legal status to MSP. We will intensify the protests. If nothing comes out of the 4 January meeting, then we will take out a tractor rally on the GT-Karnal road on 6 January,” Yadav said at a press conference at Singhu border, the epicentre of the protests.

“If the government doesn’t agree to our demands, we will start marching towards Delhi from Shahjahanpur border next week,” he added.

After the sixth round of the farmer-centre talks on Wednesday, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had said that the two sides had arrived at an ‘agreement’ on two of the four demands.

However, sources say, no progress had been made on the main demands of farmers, the repeal of the laws and a legal guarantee for MSP.

On Friday, at the press conference, farmer leaders alleged that only five percent of the issues raised by them have so far been discussed in meetings with the government.

“If the 4 January meeting with the government fails to end the deadlock, we will announce dates for shutting all malls, petrol pumps in Haryana,” farmer leader Vikas said.


NT Bureau