Leaders of farmers’ union begin day-long hunger strike at Delhi borders

New Delhi: As many as 40 farmer leaders of the United Farmers Front began their day-long hunger strike on Monday at various border points near Delhi against the Centre’s newly enacted farm laws, thereby intensifying the ongoing agitation in the national capital region.

As the farmers’ agitation on Monday entered the 19th day, Harinder Singh Lakhowal, General Secretary of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) said that with the hunger strike, the union leaders want to “wake up the government.”

“We want to wake up the government. So, 40 farmer leaders of our United Farmers Front will sit on hunger strike today at all borders points between 8 am-5 pm. 25 of them will sit at Singhu border, 10 at Tikri border and 5 at Uttar Pradesh border,” said Harinder Lakhowal, BKU, Punjab.

“They (government) won’t be able to stop us. This is not merely a farmers protest, it is a public agitation,” said a BKU leader from Hathras district, UP.

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Alleging that the Central government is working in favour of the corporate sector, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait has reiterated that farmers will not end the agitation till the three recently passed agriculture sector laws are repealed.

“The farmers are here with full preparation to stay. The completion of the construction of godowns before the laws were passed shows that the plan is something else. The farmers’ name is on the files and inside the files, the documents belong to traders. This will not go on in India,” Tikait said.

Amid the prevailing deadlock between farmers and the central government, Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Som Parkash met Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the latter’s residence on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he will fast along with farmers. “I will hold a one-day fast tomorrow in support of farmers’ protests. I appeal to AAP volunteers to join in. Centre should immediately accept all demands of farmers protesting the laws and bring a bill to guarantee MSP (minimum support price),” Kejriwal said.

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Thousands of farmers have been protesting on the outskirts of Delhi since late November 26 demanding the government to repeal the agriculture reforms brought by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government.

However, the government has held six rounds of talks with farmers’ organisations including the meeting called by Union Home Minister Amit Shah offering changes to the laws and written assurances.

Farmers have been protesting at the borders of Delhi demanding the repeal of the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

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