In a draft proposal sent to 13 agitating farmer unions, the Centre said the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops would continue. The government has also guaranteed registration of all private mandis to strengthen AMPC. However, even before the government’s written proposals came in, the farmers decided that they would continue their agitation till the Centre removes the contentious farm laws after their meeting held at the Singhu border. The farmers’ representative said, “We do not accept any amendments in the laws, we want total removal.”
While interacting with the media, the farmers’ leader said, “We will block Delhi-Jaipur highway from December 12, and all toll plazas across the country will be made toll-free. We will take this agitation to the national level.” They even declared that they would boycott Reliance and Jio products. On December 14, farmers in South India and other states will protest at district headquarters and initiate indefinite strikes. The farmers have decided to gherao BJP offices and go on a nationwide dharma on December 14.
Farmer leader Shiv Kumar Kakka said that the protesting farmers would decide on crossing the Singhu border to enter Delhi in the coming days. Farmer leader Prahalad Singh Bharukheda said, “Nothing is new in government’s proposal. We will continue our protest against the farm laws.”
Meanwhile, a group of senior opposition leaders - mostly Congress and the Left parties - led by former Congress president Rahul Gandhi met President Ram Nath Kovind and submitted a memorandum to seek his immediate intervention to find a solution to the continuing farmers’ protest. A total of 24 opposition parties are supporting the farmers’ protest. However, citing Covid restrictions, Rashtrapati Bhavan has only allowed representatives of five parties.
After meeting the President, Rahul Gandhi said that “the way farm bills were passed, we feel it’s an insult to farmers, and that’s why they are protesting in cold weather.”
Ahead of meeting the President, Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary, said, “More than 25 opposition parties have extended their support towards the demand of withdrawing the three laws. These laws are not in India’s interests and also threatens our food security.”