After a sixth round of talks between farmers and the Union government was cancelled on Wednesday, representatives of protesting farmer unions said that they have rejected the government’s proposal, and want a new legislation on MSP (minimum support price). They added that they will continue with the agitation and intensify it till the three contentious farm laws are scrapped.
The farmer leaders also said that a nationwide protest will happen on December 14. By December 12, the protesting farmers said that they will block the Delhi-Jaipur highway, and they will refuse to pay tolls on December 12 countrywide.
President of Krantikari Kisan Union Darshan Pal said, “We reject the government’s proposal.” The government’s proposal, among other things, said that the government would give a written assurance that the MSP system would continue. The proposal also said that farmers will be allowed to go to court for disputes instead of sub-divisional magistrates, and amend the laws to allow state governments to register private traders operating outside mandis. However, the farmer leaders said they are rejecting the proposal, which they called “vague”, and won’t rest till the acts are repealed.
The leaders also said they will be boycotting Jio products, and call for porting SIMs out of Jio network. “We will also boycott the Adani-Ambani malls, toll plazas. On December 14, we will also gherao the BJP legislators’ offices as well as zilla parishad headquarters and protest,” said a leader who addressed the press conference. Early in October, farmers launched a ‘SIM Satyagrah’, to destroy Jio and Reliance SIM cards. This was done as they believe that the government aims to strengthen corporate giants like the Ambanis through the farm laws, while the farmers themselves suffer. Even some Punjabi singers reportedly participated in the ‘SIM Satyagrah’, and even asked people not to get their cars fuelled at Reliance petrol pumps.
The farmer leaders have made these announcements after an internal meeting, which was held after meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah. The leaders said that the union minister asked them to repeat their issues with the farm laws. “But these were already discussed in the previous five meetings, we didn’t want to talk again. We said that before passing the bills you should have talked to us. Amit Shah said that a mistake has been made, let’s rectify it.”
Calling the Bharat bandh on December 8 historic, the leaders called on the public to once again support them in their agitation that they said will continue till the contentious laws are removed completely.