Farmers call for nationwide protest on December 14 — plan to block Delhi-Jaipur and Delhi-Agra highways starting December 12
- Leaders of the 13 farmer unions protesting in New Delhi against India’s new farm laws have rejected the government’s latest proposal. They maintain that it’s all or nothing — the three new laws must be repealed completely.
- They are now calling for nationwide protest, starting December 14, which will include boycotting Reliance Jio products as well as Adani and Ambani projects.
- The unions plan to start with blocking the Delhi-Jaipur and Delhi-Agri highways starting December 12.
Fourteen days have gone by since farmers arrived at the border of India’s national capital, New Delhi, to protest the country’s new farm laws. And, no breakthrough is in sight, with the farmer unions unanimously rejecting the government’s latest proposal.
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They have now called for a nationwide protest on December 14.
The farmers announced that they will be boycotting Adani projects, malls, toll plazas and other projects that provide revenue to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on December 14. And, on December 12, they plan on blocking the Delhi-Jaipur and Delhi-Agra highways.
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Terms of the nationwide protest:
- Boycotting Jio products at a national level
- Protests at district headquarters of BJP across the country on December 14
- Adani and Ambani projects, malls and toll plazas will also be targeted with protests and made free for travellers
- Toll plazas will be made free for everyone on December 12
- Delhi’s neighbouring states like Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh will also protest on December 14 under the slogan of ‘Delhi Chalo’ to surround the national capital
- Farmers in other parts of the country South India and the North-East will continue to protest after December 14
The government’s draft proposal was shared with 13 farm union leaders suggesting certain amendments to the farm laws after the union leaders cancelled the sixth round of talks with the government scheduled on December 9.
Government’s ‘assurances’ to the farmers
The government’s proposal offers to give ‘written assurance' that the existing Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime for procurement will continue.
It has also assured farmers that all private mandis will have to register, and there is an option to impose fees on them, which will result in the strengthening of AMPCs.
Some of the other apprehensions addressed include farmers having the option to go to courts, and their land will not be attached to any loans by big corporates.
The government said it would come up with a proper arrangement on the farmers’ demand to take back the law on stubble burning. And, that Electricity Amendment Act 2020 will not be implemented, the situation will remain status quo.
“The government has tried to address the concerns of farmers with an open heart and with respect for the farming community of the country. The government appeals to the Kisan unions to end their agitation,” said the proposal.
Standoff between farmers and the Indian government continues
"It is work in progress," says Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, on being asked about talks between government and farmers over the farm laws during the cabinet briefing on December 9.
However, the negotiations between the two sides seem to have hit an impasse. On December 8, the farmers initiated a nationwide lockdown or Bharat Bandh. Yet, the meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah — held on the same day — failed to break the deadlock.
A joint delegation of Opposition parties, including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, is scheduled to meet President Ram Nath Kovind to discuss the ongoing agitation against the farm laws later today.
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