Farmers go on hunger strike, agitation against agricultural laws intensifies
The farmers' agitation against the three controversial agricultural laws is set to intensify today, as heads of all farmers' unions began a hunger strike at 8 am. The strike will end at 5 pm. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will also observe a one-day fast, to lend support to farmers. Moreover, the Singhu border is bracing to welcome nearly 10,000 more protesters. Here's more.
Leaders will observe fast from their respective places
For over two weeks now, farmers have been camping at Delhi's borders, demanding that three laws be repealed. From the Singhu border, farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni informed that heads of unions will go on a fast today, from their respective places. He also distanced the agitation from farmers' leaders, who welcomed the reforms. Chaduni accused them of singing the tone of the government.
Government hatching a conspiracy to derail protest: Chaduni
"There are groups that are ending the protest and saying they are in favor of laws passed by the government. They have been hand-in-glove with the government, they conspired to sabotage our protest. The government is hatching a conspiracy to derail the ongoing farmers' protest," Chaduni claimed.
Another leader said farmers won't compromise on their demands
Another leader Shiv Kumar Kakka stressed that despite the government's plans to stop farmers from reaching Delhi, the agitation will continue. "Our stand is clear, we want the three farm laws repealed. All farmer unions participating in this movement are together," he said. And Rakesh Tikait of the Bhartiya Kisan Union said if the government proposes another round of talks, their committee will take a call on it.
Farmers from Rajasthan were stopped from going toward Delhi yesterday
Meanwhile, around 1:45 pm yesterday, traffic was adversely affected on the Delhi-Jaipur highway as farmers from Rajasthan started a march toward Delhi, reports TOI. The farmers were stopped from going beyond Jaisinghpur Kheda in Rewari, and they camped there itself. This sparked a massive traffic jam on the highway, with reports claiming that vehicles from Delhi were allowed to move after 3.5 hours.
Not allowed to march further, farmers protested on the streets
Speaking on the incident, Rewari's Superintendent of Police Abhishek Jorwal, said the administration has imposed Section 144 of the CrPC, effectively banning the gathering of five or more people. Separately, Swaraj India Chief Yogendra Yadav, who has been supporting the protest since the start, said that with barricades in place, the farmers had no choice but to stage a sit-in.
2,000 tractors slated to arrive at Singhu border today
Implying that the protest will intensify further, a protester told TOI that as many as 2,000 tractor trolleys, carrying four people each, will be arriving at the Singhu border today. One protester named Mannat Singh said the plan was to block all entrances to Delhi. He claimed the farmers don't want to cause inconvenience to common people, but wanted their concerns to be addressed.
Kejriwal, who has been supporting agitation, will also observe fast
Meanwhile, Kejriwal, who had paid a visit to Singhu border last week, said he will also be observing a fast. "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 reportedly said.
As farmers remained adamant, Centre lambasted opposition parties
With the agitation not showing signs of slowing down, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar on Sunday accused the opposition of spreading misinformation. "When reforms are undertaken it will benefit farmers in the long run. But in the short run, some may face difficulty. We know we can achieve no gain without difficulties," Tomar, who spoke with farmers' leaders several times, said.