Peasant leaders claim that Bharat Bandh was successful; they want to move the protest to the Ramlila camp in Delhi
Farmer leaders claimed on Tuesday that their ‘Bharat Bandh’ against the new farm laws was “successful” and had an impact in 25 states.
At a press conference at a protest site on the Singhu border, they said the “super bandh” made the government open its “eyes and ears.”
Peasant leaders said the protesters did not go to the Burari land as it is an “open jail” and demanded that the Ramlila land be turned over to them. They stressed that they do not want to disturb the people of Delhi and Haryana.
Punjab Kisan Union President Ruldu Singh Mansa said that a 13-member delegation of farmers’ representatives will seek a “yes or no” to their demands when they meet with Union Interior Minister Amit Shah, the Tuesday night.
“The ‘Bharat Bandh’ against the new agricultural laws was a success and had an impact in 25 states. It was a ‘super bandh’ from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, ”said Haryana Bharatiya Kisan Union President Gurnam Singh Chaduni.
The meeting between Shah and 13-member peasant leaders comes a day before his sixth round of talks with Union ministers scheduled for Wednesday.
“There is no middle ground. We will simply demand ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from Interior Minister Amit Shah at today’s meeting, ”Mansa said.
The central government now knows that it has no way out. They will have to withdraw the three new farm laws and guarantee minimum support prices for crops, he said.
He claimed that the central government has bowed to the ‘Bharat Bandh’.
“When the first four meetings did not lead to any progress, in the fifth we remained silent and demanded that the government respond with ‘yes or no,'” Mansa said.
“We will only rest when we make the government accept all our demands,” he said.
BKU leader Bhog Singh Mansa said farmers will hold talks after meeting with Shah and announce their future course of action on Wednesday.
The national shutdown was observed at around 10,000 locations in 25 states, added Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav.
“It was a historic day. Nobody thought that the bandh would be successful in such a short time … It has made the government open its eyes and ears, ”he said.
Fishermen, workers in sand mines and stone quarries, industrial federation, students, federation of railway personnel, intellectuals and writers supported the bandh, he said, adding that “it was successful because each citizen of India made his own protest.”
In addition to Punjab and Haryana, the ‘bandh’ had “success” in states such as Telangana, Tripura, Assam, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, he said, adding that social activist Anna Hazare also observed a “symbolic fast” in support of farmers protesting.
Yadav alleged that around 200 peasant leaders were detained in Gujarat, and there were reports that many were arrested in Uttar Pradesh.