With spells of rain in the national capital adding to the woes of farmers camping on the borders of Delhi, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Wednesday warned the central government to "not test their patience, initiate the dialogue and accept the demands". Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at three Delhi border points — Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur — for almost six months, demanding repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee for the minimum support Price (MSP) and other two issues.
"More than 470 farmers have been martyred in the farmers movement. Many agitators have had to leave their jobs, education and other work. The government's attitude meanwhile shows how inhuman and careless it is towards its own citizens, the 'anna daatas'."
"If the government cares about its farmers and wants their welfare, then it should initiate dialogue with the farmers and accept their demands," the SKM said in a statement, warning the government to "not test the patience of farmers". So far, there have been 11 rounds of talks between the protesting unions and the government, but the deadlock has continued as both sides have stuck to their stand.
In January, the government had offered to suspend the farm laws for 12-18 months, which was rejected by the farmer unions. The Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the laws till further orders and set up a committee to resolve the impasse. When this government, which "pretends" to do the welfare of farmers, takes "full credit" for increasing production or export in any crop or state, it should also take responsibility for every "human loss and other loss" taking place on the borders of Delhi, the SKM, an umbrella body of agitating farmer unions, said.
The spells of rainfall in Delhi on Wednesday under the impact of cyclone Tauktae, according to the protesting farmers' union, has caused a great deal of "disruption and losses" at the different agitating venues. "It has been a chaotic situation with regard to food and accommodation, due to the rains. Roads and several parts of the protest sites have been filled up with rainwater," the farmers said.
"For six months now, in all such circumstances, in the absence of any government facilities and support, the protesting farmers themselves are handling such situations," they claimed. The Centre says the new farm laws will free farmers from middlemen, giving them more options to sell their crops. The protesting farmers, however, say the laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of MSP and do away with the "mandi" (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.