Punjab Farmers Unions Meet to Decide on Center’s Initial Negotiations Offer
Representatives of several Punjab farmers’ unions are holding a meeting near the national capital to make a decision on an offer of early talks made by the Center, provided the protesting farmers moved to a designated site in Burari in the capital.
In a communication sent on Saturday night to the 32 farmers’ unions that camped in and around Delhi for the past two days, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla declared that a group of high-powered ministers is ready. to hold talks with a delegation of farmers. The message further said that the union authorities would meet with them as soon as one day after all protesting farmers moved to the designated Burari site in Delhi.
The proposed meeting will be held at the Vigyan Bhawan complex if farmers accept the condition set by the government for the first talks. Otherwise, the talks were originally scheduled for December 3.
The Farmers body said that no formal invitation was given to farmers to advance the talks to December 1 from December 3. He confirmed that the letter from the Secretary of the Interior received yesterday, offering to advance the date of the talks, was the last communication received on import.
Joginder Singh Ughrahan, chairman of the Ughrahan faction of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), confirmed that he had received an official letter of talks from the central government.
“All the unions are meeting near Bahadurgarh in the Jhajjar district of Haryana. As of now, a caravan of our activists is stationed at the Delhi border. We were unable to move to enter the national capital due to the huge avalanche of farmers heading to Delhi to protest, ”he said.
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The general secretary of the Dakonda faction of the BKU, Jagmohan Singh, said that the 32 Punjab farmers unions are united and that any further protest courses will be decided unanimously.
Meanwhile, an official from one of the BKU factions said that a section of farmers has a strong reservation against holding protests in Burari, as it is associated with the Nirankari sect. The leader said the unions had no plans to vacate the roads leading to Delhi, and that blockades on the Bahadurgarh and Chandigarh roads could continue until Sunday night.
“The national convention of farmers had decided to hold a protest in Jantar Mantar. But the central government insists that we move to Burari. But as a section of Sikh farmers is against this place, we will try to convince them, ”said a senior union official.
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However, sources said that a vast open space spread over 23 hectares in Burari is actually owned by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
“It is popularly known as Nirankari Samagam Ground, but the sect is among several other organizations that run on-site programs due to the spacious parking lot and the ability to host large gatherings. Jantar Mantar is located in the heart of the city and the presence of hundreds of protesters would jeopardize traffic management, “said an official on condition of anonymity.