New Delhi: Hours after the central government sent a draft proposal to amend farm laws, the protesting farmer unions on Wednesday evening announced that they reject the proposals. The unions said that the protests shall now be intensified.
“The draft proposals are vague,” the leaders said in a press conference at Singhu border. “We shall intensify the protests from now on. On December 14, a nation-wide protest will be taken up and the borders to the capital city Delhi will be blocked, one after another,” Darshan Pal, President of Krantikari Kisan Union said.
In the press conference, the farmer unions have also threatened to gherao BJP offices and hold sit-ins across the country on December 14. They also called for a boycott of Reliance/Adani/Ambani establishments and products, from now on.
On Tuesday, farmer leaders said the government’s offer to send a proposal on the amendments indicated that it was not ready to repeal the laws. After rigorous discussions of the government’s proposals on Wednesday—the contents of which had a written assurance of Minimum Support Price, among others—the farmer unions came to a decision.
Significantly, this decision also comes a day after meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah which failed to break the deadlock between the Centre and the protesting farmers.
Besides, a delegation of senior opposition leaders led by former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday met President Ramnath Kovind. The delegation consists of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja.
They submitted a memorandum to the President asking to repeal agriculture laws. “We informed the President that it is absolutely critical that these anti-farmer laws are taken back,” said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Farmer protests reached its 14th day on Wednesday. They have been camping outside Delhi since 27 November and have intensified their protest to press the government to repeal three “pro-corporate” farm laws enacted by the Centre. Under these laws, the farmers are allowed to sell produce anywhere in the country and deal directly with big corporations. However, the farmers have found the new laws alarming as they feel they would be left at the mercy of corporators.