On Saturday, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra lashed out at the Centre for allegedly showing gross insensitivity towards the protesting farmers. From what started as a scheduled protest in the national capital on November 26 and 27, 2020, thousands of farmers are still protesting at the borders of Delhi against The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
Expressing shock at the demise of 57 farmers at the protest site, she also claimed that hundreds of other protesters are unwell. According to her, the Union government was responsible for the plight of farmers as it had refused to accept their demands.
सर्द मौसम में दिल्ली बॉर्डर पर बैठे किसान भाइयों की मौत की खबरें विचलित करने वाली हैं। मीडिया खबरों के मुताबिक अभी तक 57 किसानों की जान जा चुकी है और सैकड़ों बीमार है। महीने भर से अपनी जायज मांगों के लिए बैठे किसानों की बातें न मानकर सरकार घोर असंवेदनशीलता का परिचय दे रही है।
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) January 2, 2021
Farmers unions’ threaten to scale up protests
During the deliberations held on Wednesday, the Centre agreed not to penalise farmers for stubble burning and to continue the present mechanism of giving subsided electricity for agricultural use. Maintaining that the talks were held in a cordial atmosphere, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar appealed to the farmer leaders to send home the elderly, women and children given the chilly winter season. Meanwhile, the unions rejected the Centre’s offer to form a committee to examine the agrarian laws. The next round of discussions on January 4 will focus on the three farm laws and MSP.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha warned that it will take firm steps if the Centre failed to accept its main demands in the January 4 meeting. Refuting the notion that 50 per cent of issues have been resolved, Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav stressed that the Union government was yet to agree to the scrapping of farm laws and the legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price. In the scenario that the next round of talks does not yield the desired outcome, he declared that the farmers will conduct a march on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal highway on January 6.
Moreover, he added that an awareness campaign shall be carried out throughout the country from January 6-20. Speaking to the media, Haryana farmer leader Vikas Sisar threatened that all malls and petrol pumps will be shut down in Haryana and protests shall be organised against BJP and JJP leaders if the Centre does not respond positively to the unions. Additionally, the unions have indicated that they will hold a tractor parade in Delhi on Republic Day.