Will get the government to repeal the farm laws: The farmers harden their attitudes

Union leaders held a press conference on the Singhu border today

New Delhi:
Twenty farmers have died since the protest began outside Delhi and the government responsible for it has to pay, farmers leaders said today on the Singhu border. December 20 has been declared the day of mourning and “homage is paid to the martyrs in every village,” said a peasant leader. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, reiterated his support for the farm laws, which have been at the center of months of agitation, accusing the opposition of “inciting” and “misleading” farmers. The farmers hardened their attitudes, saying they would get the government to repeal the laws.

Here are the top 10 points in this great story:

  1. “The government says we will not repeal these laws. We say we will make you do it. The battle has reached a stage where we are determined to win,” said peasant leader Jagjeet Dallewal Journalists in Singhu border today. “We are not running away from negotiations, but the government must listen to our demands and come up with concrete proposals,” he added.

  2. “The agrarian reforms that have taken place are exactly what farmers’ associations and even opposition parties have been calling for over the years,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today, reiterating the government’s claim that the opposition is now “inciting” and “misleading” farmers .

  3. “A sense of fear is brought into their (farmer) minds. Farmers are told that their land will be conquered by others if the new farm laws are implemented,” said PM Modi. “I am confident that progressive farmers will defeat those who conduct politics, spread falsehood and use farmers’ shoulders to fire their weapons,” he added.

  4. A faction of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Kisan Gut) met with the Union’s Minister of Agriculture, Narendra Tomar, today and later said it was suspending its agitation for a month. “We have asked a minister to pass a new law on the minimum support price,” the group’s head Pawan Thakkar told NDTV. The group influences framers in 10 to 12 districts of Uttar Pradesh.

  5. The farmer leaders on the Singhu border brushed off the growing trend for groups of small farmers to withdraw from the agitation after talks with the Minister of Agriculture. “Ours is a historical agitation and we have a unified leadership. We have so much support from the people that they could not break our unity,” said a peasant leader.

  6. A peasant leader from Maharashtra, Rishipal, claimed that an average of one farmer has died every day since the protest began in the last week of November. “A tribute day (Shraddhanjali Diwas) for all farmers who lost their lives and became martyrs in the ongoing protests will be organized across the country on December 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in villages and at headquarters,” he said.

  7. Five rounds of meetings took place between the protesting farmers and Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar. The Union’s interior minister, Amit Shah, also met the peasants once, but the impasse remained and both sides stuck to their stance.

  8. Arrangements are also being made for female protesters, said peasant leader Jagjeet Dallewal. Over the next three to four days, they will come in large numbers and join the protest against the new farm laws, he added.

  9. Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal called the central government the “real Tukde Tukde gang” and accused them of turning Hindus against Sikhs in Punjab to control peasant protest. “Today it’s against farmers. Nobody knows what the BJP might say about soldiers tomorrow, if they like. The farmers are hurt and angry with the BJP,” he said.

  10. Tens of thousands of farmers are protesting at the borders of Delhi to protest against the farming laws. They say they will reduce their incomes by getting rid of government floor prices and leaving them to businesses. The government says the laws represent major reforms in the agricultural sector that will help farmers eliminate middlemen and allow them to sell products anywhere in the country.

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