Farmers, marching to Delhi to press for their demands including remunerative prices for crops, and loan waivers, Tuesday rejected the Union government’s assurances and said they will continue with their protests.
Farmers will not accept the government assurance and will go ahead with their protests, said Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Naresh Tikait, who is spearheading the protests, reported PTI
The assurances came after Union home minister Rajnath Singh Tuesday held discussions with Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh and others on how to resolve the farmers’ issues and pacify them, officials said.
Speaking to ANI, BKU spokesman Yudhvir Singh said: “We had a discussion on 11 points. Government agreed on seven points but didn’t agree on four points yet. They said they will have to think about those meetings in a further meeting after which they will tell us, as it is a financial matter:”
“Government didn’t clear its stand on the main issue of the farmers - C2+50 (a minimum support price of cost, calculated on C2 basis which included cost of capital and rent of cultivated land as recommended by the MS Swaminathan Commission). That is why the farmers are unsatisfied. It didn’t clear its stand even on the other main issue of loan waiver. They said they will discuss it in detail,” he added.
Thousands of farmers marchingfrom Haridwar to Delhi with their 15 point charter of demands on Tuesday morning clashed with the police and paramilitary forces at the national capital’s borders with Uttar Pradesh, prompting Opposition parties to accuse the government of a “brutal” crackdown.
As farmers, who planned to march to Kisan Ghat in Delhi, broke barricades, police used water cannons to stop them and also deflated tyres of their tractors.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday that preventing a protest march of farmers from entering the national capital was "wrong" and pitched for allowing them entry into the city.
"Why are the farmers being stopped from entering Delhi. It is wrong. Delhi belongs to all. They should be given entry in Delhi. We support their demands," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event held at the Delhi assembly to mark Gandhi Jayanti.
CPIM MP Sitaram Yechury called PM Narendra Modi an anti-farmer leader. CPIM leader said, ”It reconfirms the fact that Modi government is anti-farmers. Instead of providing relief to farmers they are exasperating the crisis further forcing farmers to be under debt burden and distress suicides. We haven’t seen such an agrarian distress in India since independence.
Joining the chorus, former Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav lashed out at the Centre saying Prime Minister has not fulfilled the promises he made to farmers. The news agency ANI quoted Akhilesh Yadav saying, “This Government has not fulfilled the promises it made to farmers, so it is all but natural that farmers would protest. It is unfortunate and we fully support the farmers.”
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Modi government has shown that there is no difference from the pre-independence British government in India. The British government then used to exploit the farmers and today Modi government is firing tear gas shells at farmers.
Farmers marching towards Delhi's Rajghat were on Tuesday allegedly stopped at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border to avert any untoward incident and to maintain law and order. However, the aggrieved farmers protesting against the policies of the Narendra Modi government, are now asking which door should they knock if the Centre does not pay heed to their demands.
"Why have we been stopped here (at UP-Delhi border)? The rally was proceeding in a disciplined manner. If we don't tell our government about our problems then whom do we tell? Do we go to Pakistan or Bangladesh," Bharatiya Kisan Union president Naresh Tikait asked.
At least 70,000 farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana are taking out a Kisan Kranti Padyatra, marching towards the Rajghat. The farmers have been demanding complete loan waiver and reduction in electricity tariff, among other requirements. They are also seeking a provision of a pension to every farmer aged above 60.
The march which began from Patanjali in Uttarakhand on September 23 will end at Kisan Ghat in Delhi on October 2. It moved via Muzaffarnagar, Daurala, Partapur, Modi Nagar, Muradnagar and Hindon Ghat.
The protesters are proceeding towards Delhi with hundreds of tractor-trolleys and private vehicles. DCP (East) said that there is a probability that the protesters may be carrying sticks, lathis, cans and a possibility of them turning unruly cannot be ruled out on sthe lightest provocation.
In view of the same, heavy security has been deployed at the Delhi-UP border. "The yatra has the potential of disruption of traffic and creating law and order problems. Hence, it is essential to maintain law and order and peace in the national capital territory of Delhi with intent to avoid any inconvenience to the general public," the order said.