Farmer leader Shiv Kumar Kakka, too, said there was nothing new in the government’s proposal, and that it was “completely rejected” by the ‘Sanyukta Kisan Committee’. If the three farm laws are not scrapped, the farmers will block all the roads leading to Delhi one by one, Kakka said. Union leaders termed the proposal an “insult” to the farmers of the country. They, however, said if the government sends a fresh proposal of talks, they may consider it. The sixth round of talks between the government and farm union leaders scheduled for Wednesday was cancelled. According to the union leaders, a new ‘Delhi Chalo’ (March to Delhi) call is being given to all farmers in north India for December 14, while those in the south will be asked to protest at district headquarters. They said all toll plazas across the country will be made toll-free on December 12.
China and Pakistan behind Protests: Minister | Union minister Raosaheb Danve claimed that China and Pakistan were behind the ongoing protests by farmers, who are seeking repeal of three new farm laws. He also alleged that Muslims were earlier misled over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens, but as those efforts did not succeed, now farmers were being told that they will face losses due to the new laws.
Farmers to Block Major Highways by Saturday | Farmer leaders on Wednesday announced that they would intensify their agitation by blocking the Jaipur-Delhi and the Delhi-Agra expressways by Saturday, and escalating it to a nationwide protest on December 14. The sixth round of talks between the government and farm union leaders scheduled for Wednesday was cancelled.
On apprehensions about the scrapping of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime and shifting of trade to private players, the government said it is ready to give a written assurance that the existing MSP will continue. Addressing a press conference, farmer leader Shiv Kumar Kakka said there was nothing new in the government’s proposal, and that it was “completely rejected” by the ‘Sanyukta Kisan Committee’ in its meeting on Wednesday.
After Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s meeting with farmer leaders last night, the government sent the proposal offering to make necessary amendments on at least seven issues, including one to allay fears about the weakening of the mandi system. The government said an amendment can be made wherein state governments can register the traders operating outside mandis. States can also impose tax and cess as they used in APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) mandis on them.
Opposition Meets President | The Opposition, which has been supporting the farmers’ stir and had backed Tuesday’s ‘Bharat bandh’, approached President Ram Nath Kovind. A five-member delegation that included Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury met the president seeking repeal of the farm laws against which thousands of farmers have been protesting on the borders of the national capital for the last 13 days. The Shiromani Akali Dal alleged that the Centre packaged “old wine in a new bottle” and said the farmers have rightly rejected the proposal.
Farmers Reject Govt Offer, Protest on 14 | Farmer leaders on Wednesday rejected a government offer of amendments in the new farm laws and a “written assurance” on continuing the MSP system, saying there was nothing new in it, and vowed to intensify their agitation by blocking key highways linking Delhi and a nationwide protest on December 14. The sixth round of talks between the Centre and the agitating farmer unions slated for Wednesday was cancelled, but the two sides maintained they were open to dialogue.