1362334 Farmers.png

New Delhi: A meeting with three Union ministers will take place again on Thursday evening in Chandigarh to discuss the various demands of the farmers. The Centre called the farmer leaders for the third round of talks in a week, after the previous two meetings held on February 8 and 12 did not yield any results. The farmers, who were camping at the Shambhu and Khanauri borders of Punjab and Haryana, were planning to march towards Delhi to urge the Centre to agree to their demands, such as a law on minimum support price for crops and loan waivers.

The farmer leaders said they will not try to move towards Delhi until the meeting is over, and that they will decide their next steps based on the Centre’s proposals. Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) leader Dallewal told the media here that the meeting will be at 5 pm on Thursday.

Another farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said that the meeting will be with Union ministers Arjun Munda, Piyush Goyal and Nityanand Rai. When asked if the farmers will not march ahead until the meeting is over, Pandher said, “Yes.” “Let’s see what happens in tomorrow’s meeting. We will discuss whatever proposals we get (from the Centre) in our forums and then decide (our next steps),” Pandher said.

Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Pandher said they got a message for talks on Tuesday night. “After that, we decided to hold talks,” he said, adding that they got the approval from other protesting farmers for holding talks if the Centre wants it.

Tear Gas, Phone Tracking

However, Pandher criticised the Centre for allegedly firing tear gas shells continuously on the farmers at the Shambhu border, injuring many protesters. Pandher said the Centre tried to “provoke” the farmers, and also accused it of using force on them deliberately.

The farm leader said he was targeted and his phone was being tracked. Pandher urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to instruct the paramilitary forces, stationed at the Punjab-Haryana borders, to not use tear gas on them.

He also said that social media accounts of several farmer leaders have been suspended. When asked if there was any meeting on Wednesday, farmer leader Surjit Singh Phool said there was no meeting with any minister.

“The meeting will be with Union ministers on Thursday. We have received a letter about it,” Phool said. He said Punjab government officials met with farmer leaders to know how many of them will go to the meeting with the Union ministers.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha are leading the ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest to pressure the Centre for their demands.

Rail Blockade In Punjab

The Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) said that farmers will sit on rail tracks at seven locations in Punjab on Thursday to protest against the Haryana Police action against the protesting farmers at the borders.

BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan said their protest will be from 12 noon to 4 pm. He said the decision was taken to protest against the use of tear gas shells and water cannons on the protesting farmers by the Haryana security personnel at the Shambhu and Khanauri borders.