Farmers have decided to intensify their protests after rejecting the government’s offer to keep implementation of the three farm laws on hold for 18 months.
After a daylong deliberation on Thursday saw farmers firm up their resolve, many farmer leaders have stepped up their interface with their brethren in various parts of the country.
Ashok Dhawale, national president of All India Kisan Sabha, told Outlook that the farmers’ decision to continue with the agitation was “unanimous”.
“There is no question of our accepting the government proposal for temporary withdrawal of the farm laws. We are not satisfied with the government offer as our demands for repeal of the three laws and guaranteeing a remunerative MSP for all crops and to ensure procurement at that price have not changed,” said Dhawale, ahead of addressing a congregation of farmers in Nashik, Maharashtra, to firm up plans for a vehicle rally from Nashik to Mumbai.
Charging the government of bringing the new laws without any consultations with farmer groups, Dhawale said the talks so far had been meaningless as the government had failed to heed the demand for repeal of the laws “thrust” on farmers”.
Around 20,000 vehicles carrying farmers from Nashik will proceed to Mumbai on Saturday where they will congregate at Azad Maidan to stage a three-day rally. On January 25, the farmers will march to the Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s office to present their memorandum of demands to be conveyed to the central government.
On January 26, Dhawale said the farmers will take a pledge to stand by their demands “as the future of our farms, our livelihood and family rests on the central government accepting them”.
There is no let-up in farmers arriving to join the protest at various border points to the national capital despite barricades to prevent their plans to hold a vehicle parade on Republic Day.