Protesting Farmers Face Another Cold Day, Rains After Talks Fail
Thousands of farmers, who have been protesting on Delhi’s borders, faced another day of heavy cold and rain on Tuesday as they stood firm in their demands for repeal of the three farm laws and legal backing of the minimum price of sustainment (MSP). .
The seventh round of talks held Monday to resolve the stalemate in farm laws remained inconclusive. Farmers’ unions have stood firm in their demand for a complete repeal of the new farm laws, which they say are business-friendly, even when the government wanted to discuss only “problem” clauses or other alternatives. Both parties will meet again on January 8.
Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said he was “hopeful” for a conclusion to be reached in the next round of talks. “We wanted the farmers’ unions to discuss three laws in terms of clauses. We were unable to reach any solution because the farmers’ unions stood firm in repealing the laws, ”the minister told reporters after the meeting.
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Protesting farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been at the border points of the national capital since November 26, braving the chilling cold of the region. Sporadic rains have also hit the national capital in recent days.
The Delhi traffic police have been posting alerts on their official Twitter account to inform travelers about road closures in the city. On Tuesday, the Delhi Traffic Police said in a series of tweets that the borders of Singhu, Auchandi, Piau Maniyari, Saboli and Mangesh are closed for traffic. “Please take the alternative route through the toll tax borders of the Lampur Safiabad, Palla and Singhu schools. Traffic has been diverted from the Mukarba and GTK highway. Avoid Outer Ring Road, GTK Road and NH-44, ”they said.
“The borders of Chilla and Ghazipur are closed to traffic coming from Noida and Ghaziabad to Delhi due to protests from farmers. Please take an alternative route to get to Delhi via Anand Vihar, DND, Bhopra & Loni Borders, ”he added.
Traffic police said the Tikri and Dhansa borders are also closed for transit. “The Jhatikara border is open only for LMV (cars / light motor vehicles), two-wheelers and pedestrian movement,” they said in another tweet.
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People traveling to Haryana can take the routes across the borders of Jharoda (only single carriageway), Daurala, Kapashera, Badusarai, Rajokri NH-8, Bijwasan / Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera, they added.
Farmers fear that the government will stop buying grain at minimum prices guaranteed by law and that corporations will push prices down. The government said it is willing to promise that the guaranteed prices will continue. They also say that the three farm laws will lead to the cartelization and commercialization of agriculture and make farmers vulnerable to corporate greed. Farmers have also threatened to hold a demonstration on January 26 on Republic Day if their demands are not met.
(With contributions from the agency)