Friday, February 23, 2024

Chandigarh

Farmers say meeting inconclusive, stick to 'Chalo Delhi' call on Feb 13

IANS | February 13, 2024 10:01 AM

CHANDIGARH: A meeting between farmer leaders, representing various unions from across the country, and the Central government on late Monday failed to resolve matters and the farmers announced they would stick to their plan of marching towards the national capital to protest from 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

The Central government delegation was led by Union Minister Piyush Goyal, and comprised Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda, while Punjab minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal and state government officials were also present.

According to sources, the talks made a little headway as farmers are adamant on getting legal guarantee for the minimum support price (MSP) for the crops.

While the Centre has already assured them that some of their demands will be met, sources say that the farmer leaders are so far unwilling to relent till the time the debt waiver and legal guarantee for MSP are met.

Tens of thousands of farmers' convoys with tractors, loaded with protestors and ration, are on roads of Punjab and Haryana, gearing up to head to head to Delhi.

After the meeting, Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) coordinator Jagjit Singh Dallewal, told the media the Centre has failed to redress their grievances and the farmers have decided to continue with their planned protest on February 13.

"The Centre government is just trying to pass the time regarding the demands of the farmers. We will start our protest from our destinations at 10 a.m. towards the national capital, " he said.

He said no new proposal had come. "Those were all old proposals. We didn’t want any confrontation. We wanted discussion on every point. But the government is not straight. It just wants to waste our time. They asked for more time. We told the government to take the decision. They did not take any decision. Our protest will continue. We will move towards Delhi from 10 a.m., " he added.

Ranjeet Singh Raju, a farmer leader from Rajasthan, said they would march to Delhi on Tuesday.

"The government offered to form a committee and promised to engage us in a discourse. This discussion has been going on for quite some time now. Our supporters would begin moving towards Delhi at 10 am tomorrow, " he added.

Meanwhile, with the police build up on almost all national highways and major roads leading from Punjab ahead of the protest march, commuters on Monday had to opt village routes to enter Haryana for their onward journey.

Sufficient security arrangements have been made in Haryana to prevent any untoward incident, a senior police official told IANS.

The sealing of Punjab-Haryana borders by putting up barricades, boulders, tippers filled with sand, and barbed wires and iron spikes, has impacted the movement of vehicular traffic with huge traffic snarls. Paramilitary forces have also been deployed to prevent untoward incidents.

Farmers have planned to enter Haryana from Shambhu border in Patiala, Moonak in Sangrur, Dabwali in Muktsar, and Ratia in Mansa. The Haryana Police have sealed all four entry points.

Security has also been beefed up along the Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri borders to stop protests in Delhi.

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