Evident government won't budge, prepared for long haul, say farmers
The farmers camping at the borders of Delhi have indicated they are prepared for a long haul while adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech on Friday was an attempt to "divide and mislead them." Representatives of farmers said the Centre's actions have clarified it is in no mood to repeal the three laws, that laid roots for a massive agitation. Here's more.
Context: PM Modi spoke to select farmers yesterday
Facing a massive agitation from farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, the Centre planned an outreach program yesterday steered by its biggest crowd-puller, PM Modi. During yesterday's interaction, farmers told him about the benefits they reaped from the Centre's schemes. PM Modi slammed Opposition, especially West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, for misleading farmers and tried addressing myths linked to the laws.
We are not 'misguided' by political parties: Leader
PM Modi asserted that the agitation is politically driven, a statement that miffed the agitating farmers. A leader Abhimanyu Kohar said farmers' unions haven't allowed any political party to misuse their stage. "The Prime Minister's claim that we are being misguided by other political parties is false. In fact, we have banned them from using our stage. Our protest is not political," Kohar said.
Another farm leader highlighted contrasting statements of PM Modi
Separately, Shiv Kumar Kakka, a senior leader of Sankyut Kisan Morcha, also echoed the same sentiments. "In election rallies, he (PM Modi) says his government has fixed MSP as per the recommendations of the MS Swaminathan Committee. But in court, they say it was not possible to do so," Kakka underlined. He asked why a legal guarantee on MSPs hasn't been given yet.
'We questioned AAP, SAD, and Congress as well'
Similarly, Avtar Singh Mehma, State Press Secretary, Krantikari Kisan Union (Punjab), reminded that farmers' unions targeted all parties including Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). "So how can we be misguided by these political parties?" he questioned. Kohar also said the government can't shed responsibility by just saying these laws are good for farmers, it will have to prove it.
One leader said farmers won't move till laws are repealed
On the road ahead, Jagmohan Singh, General Secretary of BKU (Dakaunda), said farmers aren't even considering leaving Delhi's borders and that they are fighting against "undemocratic ways." "First, they make laws without consultation, later they say these are for our good...then make amendments and say laws cannot be taken back. But why did you make such laws in the first place?" he queried.
'They are yet to give a concrete proposal'
"Time and again, they (Centre) asked us for our proposals. But they are yet to give us any concrete proposal. Had their intentions been good, they would not have made these laws. Now, what is the point of talking of amendments?" questioned Gurnam Singh Chaduni, President of BKU (Haryana).