After farmers reject offer, Amit Shah attends late-night meet
Hours after protesting farmers spurned the Centre's proposal to hold talks and take their agitation to Burari ground in Delhi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah attended a late-night meeting at the residence of BJP President JP Nadda, multiple reports said. The meeting, which went on for more than two hours, was also attended by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
Why are farmers up in arms against the Centre?
The farmers have launched a massive agitation as they are upset with three farm laws, which were passed in the Parliament during the monsoon session. Though the Centre believes these laws would free the farmers from constraints, they disagree. The farmers are of the opinion that the laws would leave them at the mercy of big corporate players and deprive them of minimum income.
PM Modi spoke about advantages of laws, farmers weren't convinced
The Centre pushed the laws in the Parliament amid huge uproar from the opposition. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly spoken about how removing middlemen from the picture would benefit farmers. He reiterated the same during his Mann Ki Baat program yesterday. Just as the Centre, the farmers also didn't move from their stance, and planned the massive agitation for over two months.
Farmers threatened to block roads leading to Delhi
The farmers, who want the three laws to be revoked, have threatened to block five entry points to Delhi, namely Sonipat, Rohtak, Jaipur, Ghaziabad-Hapur, and Mathura. Their agitation has brought life to a standstill on major highways leading to Delhi, causing major inconvenience to commuters and forcing them to take alternate routes. Considering the volatile situation, Shah reached out to farmers on Saturday.
Move to Burari ground, we will talk: Shah
In a statement, Shah said he was willing to hold talks before December 3 — the scheduled date for the dialogue. "I assure everyone that as soon as you shift to Burari ground, the Government is ready to hold talks with you the very next day," he said, adding that the government has made proper arrangements to ensure they don't face any problems.
After pondering over Centre's proposal, farmers turned it down
Notably, Shah's proposal found an unlikely ally in Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. The Congress leader, who has been one of the loudest critics of the laws, urged farmers to take the offer. Thereafter, on Sunday, the farmers deliberated on Shah's proposal, only to reject it later. The farmers are concerned that venues suggested by the Centre, would be turned into jails.
Protesting farmers said they wouldn't go to "open jail"
Surjeet Phul, Bharatiya Kisan Union president, refused to change the venue. "We got proof that it's an open jail. Delhi Police told the Uttarakhand Farmers Association chief that they'll take them to Jantar Mantar but instead locked them at Burari park," he said on Sunday, adding that they would instead block entry points to Delhi. He said they have ration for four months.
Tikri and Singhu borders sealed for traffic movement
With the agitation only growing larger, Tikri and Singhu borders were closed. "Tikri border is closed for any traffic movement. Available open borders to Haryana are following--Borders Jharoda, Dhansa, Daurala Jhatikera, Badusari, Kapashera, Rajokri NH 8, Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam vihar and Dundahera borders," Delhi Police tweeted. Meanwhile, a medical camp was set up at the Singhu border, where coronavirus tests would be conducted, reports ANI.