A day after Home minister Amit Shah's talks with farmers failed to break the impasses, the Centre has sent a fresh proposal to the protesting farmers for consideration. The Centre's three farm laws that were cleared by the Parliament in September, are at the heart of the protest. Today is the 14th day of the agitation.
The government has told farmers that it will give in writing that MSP and APMC will continue. Besides, it has also promised to make it mandatory for private players to register for operations. In case of a dispute, the government has agreed to allow the farmers to approach the civil court. Earlier, the government provided that farmers can take their grievances to SDM court. Also, the government has told farmers that it will collect taxes from private players.
Meanwhile, farmers are currently holding talks at the Singhu border. They are discussing the government's proposals.
"We will strategise in our meeting and discuss their (Centre) proposal. Farmers won't go back, it's a matter of their respect. Will government not withdraw laws? Will there be tyranny? If government is stubborn, so are farmers. Law has to be withdrawn," Rakesh Tikait, spokesperson of Bharatiya Kisan Union, said.
Meanwhile, thousands of farmers stayed put at Delhi borders on Wednesday to press for repeal of the agri marketing laws.
Hannan Mollah, general secretary, All India Kisan Sabha, said, "They (Government) said they will send something in writing today. We have told them that if it is in writing, we will look into it. We have our meeting today. A broader committee will discuss it."
"If the writing is on amendment, our position is very clear. If it's on repeal of the Bill, only then can we take note of it and consider. That meeting (today's meeting with Centre) is cancelled. If letter comes and we consider it positive, meeting can be held tomorrow," Hannan added.
Earlier on Tuesday night, a meeting called by Home Minister Amit Shah ended in failure as farmer leaders rejected the government's offer to amend new farm laws, saying they would settle for nothing less than the scrapping of the legislations. The sixth round of talks between the government and farmer unions to end the protests on Delhi's various borders, which was scheduled on Wednesday, has been cancelled.
Meanwhile, a group of five opposition parties comprising the Congress, NCP, CPI(M), CPI, and DMK will meet President Ram Nath Kovind to express their concerns over the three farm laws that at the heart of protests. The delegation will comprise Congress' Rahul Gandhi, NCP's Sharad Pawar, CPIM's Sharad Pawar, CPI's D Raja and a representative from the DMK. The five leaders will meet the President at 5 pm on behalf of the opposition parties.
Traffic disrupted in Delhi
As the protests continued, traffic was disrupted at border points with farmers agitating on the the Singhu, TIkri and Ghazipur borders of Delhi. Taking to Twitter, the Delhi Traffic Police alerted commuters about that the Tikri, Jharoda, Dhansa Borders are closed for any traffic movement. However, Jhatikara border is open only for two wheelers and pedestrian movement.
It also said that those travelling to Haryana can take Daurala, Kapashera, Badusarai, Rajokri NH 8, Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera Borders.
"Singhu, Auchandi, Piao Maniyari, Mangesh borders are closed. NH-44 is closed on both sides. Take alternate routes via Lampur, Safiabad, Saboli, NH8/Bhopra /Apsara borders /Peripheral expressway," the Delhi Traffic Police tweeted. It also said that the traffic has been diverted from Mukarba and GTK road and suggested commuters to avoid Outer Ring Road, GTK road, NH-44.
In another related development, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) workers are providing free diesel at a petrol pump at Delhi-Amritsar national highway to farmers heading to Delhi to join the agitation.