In their seventh attempt to end the logjam over the three farm laws, ministers representing the central government and 40 farm union leaders are set to hold talks in Delhi on Monday. Two key demands of the farmers are expected to be on the table for consideration by the government.
Upping the ante, Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the platform of farm unions, has said that thousands of farmers will drive into the Capital on their tractors to hold their own Republic Day parade if their demands are not met by January 26. The Republic Day – an event of global importance – is scheduled to be attended by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Meanwhile, a 70-year-old farmer, who was part of the agitation against the farm laws at UP Gate in Ghaziabad, allegedly died by suicide in a portable toilet near the protest site on Saturday. Forty-seven people have died so far at various protest sites since the farmers began their agitation against three contentious farm laws passed by Parliament in September last year, national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union Rakesh Tikait has said.
Despite rains and the ongoing cold wave across North India, farmers agitating against the Centre’s farm laws stood strong at the borders of the national capital and continued their protest for the last 39 days.
Why are the farmers protesting?
In one of the largest strikes in decades witnessed by India, the farmers are demanding that the Centre revokes the three contentious laws. The laws essentially change the way India’s farmers do business by creating free markets, as opposed to a network of decades-old, government marketplaces, allowing traders to stockpile essential commodities for future sales and laying down a national framework for contract farming.
These laws are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
Here are the latest updates:
10.11am: Delhi’s Chilla, Ghazipur borders remain partially closed
The Ghazipur and Chilla borders connecting Delhi to Ghaziabad and Noida continue to remain partially blocked on Monday with only one carriageway open for those leaving Delhi. At both the borders, traffic going towards Delhi was diverted, with farmers blocking one carriageway as their agitation against three new farm bills continue