Farmers harden stand as more support pour in

NEW DELHI, JAN 31 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 1/31/2021 12:50:50 PM IST

Emboldened by the massive support which they got from ‘panchayats’ across western Uttar Pradesh, the farmers’ unions on Sunday appeared to have hardened their stand while reiterating that they were ready for talks if the Centre offers more than what it had proposed on January 22.

Insisting for seeking repeal of laws and legal guarantee to purchase at minimum support price (MSP) for all farmers, they said they have not yet received any communication from the government side for talks which can, however, happen only in a congenial atmosphere at a time when more than 100 farmers are still reported to be missing after tractor rally and police action on Republic Day.

The unions’ umbrella body, Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), has, meanwhile, formed a committee to look into the issue of missing persons. “It is now seeking to compile information on such missing persons following which formal action can be initiated with the authorities,” said farmer leader Darshan Pal in a statement.

On the prospect of talks, Yogendra Yadav of Jai Kisan Andolan while referring to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on talks option said, “If the government would take two steps forward (from what it had offered on January 22), farmers will not move backward. We don’t have any ego. We are ready for talks. We want farmers to get what they want and they want repeal of three farm laws and legal guarantees to MSP.”

“If a politician can come to our house asking for our votes, why cannot they come to us here to resolve the issue... If PM Modi wants to talk, he should give us a phone number to call,” said 64-year Satbir Singh from Haryana’s Jind district.

The Singhu border in Delhi, one of the major sites of the ongoing farmers’ agitation, resembled an impregnable fortress on Sunday with a massive presence of security personnel.

Delhi Police, along with paramilitary forces and ITBP personnel have been deployed at the border exit point. Besides, people can now move towards Haryana from Delhi only through the routes designated by the police.

There won’t be any agreement under pressure, says Tikait

Rakesh Tikait, national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Sunday demanded that the Centre should release his people and asserted that there will be no agreement “under pressure”.

“There won’t be any agreement under pressure. We will hold discussions on the issue, Prime Minister is ours also, we are thankful for his initiative, we will respect it. We want our people to be released,” Rakesh Tikait was quoted as saying by ANI.

BKU leader Naresh Tikait further stated that the farmers will honour the dignity of the Prime Minister but also ensure that the self-respect of farmers is protected.


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