As farmers from Punjab continue to protest against the newly passed farm bills, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday made an appeal to the protesting farmers saying that the government is ready to hold talks on the matter. In his appeal, Amit Shah said, "I appeal to the protesting farmers that government of India is ready to hold talks. Agriculture Minister has invited them on December 3 for discussion. Government is ready to deliberate on every problem and demand of the farmers."
"At many places, farmers are staying with their tractors & trollies on highways in this cold. I appeal to them that Delhi Police are ready to shift you to big ground, please go there. You will be given police permission to hold programmes there. If farmers' unions want to hold discussion before December 3 then, I want to assure you all that as soon as you shift your protest to designated place, our government will hold talks to address your concerns the very next day," Amit Shah said.
Amit Shah's statement has come even as thousands of farmers continued to rally at the Tikri and Singhu interstate border on Saturday and were adamant on moving to Ramlila Maidan or Jantar Mantar to protest, leaders of more than 30 big farm organisations were busy chalking their strategy for future course of action.
While farmers at Singhu and Tikri borders continued to raise slogans and listened to speeches of their leaders while policemen looked on, the farmer leaders said they had called on farmer protesters from various places to rally in large numbers at Delhi borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh so as to build pressure on the central government to revoke the contentious farm laws.
Unlike Friday, the situation was peaceful at both Singhu and Tikri border points on the Delhi-Chandigarh highway and Delhi-Bahadurgarh route respectively.
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However, Delhi Police were put on alert in the wake of inputs that farmers from Uttar Pradesh would also try to enter the national capital on Saturday from the Ghazipur entry-exit point. At the time of filing of this report, farmers from Uttar Pradesh under the leadership of Bharatiya Kishan Union's (BKU) Rakesh Tikait were rallying at Ghazipur to enter Delhi amid heavy police presence.
Meanwhile, none of the leaders of 31 farmers' organisations -- mostly from Punjab and Haryana -- were available for comments but sources maintained that they were busy strategising.