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Will “Make” Government Repeal Farm Laws: Farmers Harden Stance – 10 Points

The farmer leaders at Singhu border brushed off growing trend of small farmers' groups pulling out of the agitation after talks with the agriculture minister.

New Delhi: Twenty farmers have died since the protest started outside Delhi and the government, which is responsible for this, will have to pay, farmer leaders declared today from the Singhu border. December 20 has been declared as a day of mourning and “homage will be paid to the martyrs in every village,” a farmer leader said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, spoke up again in support of the farm laws, which are at the heart of the months-long agitation and accused the opposition of “instigating” and “misleading” the farmers. The farmers hardened stance, saying they will “make” the government repeal the laws.

Here are the top 10 points in this big story:

  1. “The government is saying ‘we won’t repeal these laws’. We are saying we will make you do it. The fight has reached a stage where we are determined to win no matter what,” farmer leader Jagjeet Dallewal told journalists at Singhu border today. “We are not running away from negotiation, but the government has to pay heed to our demands and come forward with concrete proposals,” he added.
  2. “The agriculture reforms that have taken place are exactly what farmer bodies and even opposition parties have been asking over the years,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today, reiterating the government’s claim that the opposition is now “instigating” and “misleading” the farmers.
  3. “A sense of fear is being injected into their (farmers’) minds. Farmers are told that their land will be grabbed by others if the new farm laws get implemented,” PM Modi said. “I am confident that progressive farmers will defeat those who are doing politics, spreading falsehood and using farmers” shoulders to fire their guns,” he added.
  4. A faction of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Kisan) met Union Agriculture minister Narendra Tomar today and later said it is suspending its agitation for a month. “We have placed a demand before the minister that a new law should be enacted on the Minimum Support price,” the group’s chief Pawan Thakkar told NDTV. The group has influence over farmers in 10 to 12 districts of Uttar Pradesh.
  5. The farmer leaders at Singhu border brushed off the growing trend of small farmers’ groups pulling out of the agitation after talks with the agriculture minister.  “Ours is a historic agitation and we have a unified leadership. We have so much people’s support that they couldn’t break our unity,” said a farmer leader.
  6. A farmer leader from Maharashtra, Rishipal, claimed one farmer has died every day on an average since the protest started in the last week of November. “A Homage Day (Shraddhanjali Diwas) for all the farmers who lost their lives and became martyrs in the ongoing protest will be organised across the country in villages and tehsil headquarters on December 20 from 11 am to 1 pm,” he said.
  7. Five rounds of meetings have taken place between the protesting farmers and agriculture minister Narendra Tomar. Union home minister Amit Shah also met the farmers once, but the deadlock has persisted with both sides sticking to their stance.
  8. Arrangements are also being made for women protestors, said farmer leader Jagjeet Dallewal . Over the next three to four days, they will be coming in huge numbers and joining the protest against the new farm laws, he added.
  9. Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal has dubbed the Central government the “real tukde tukde gang” and accused it of setting Hindus against Sikhs in Punjab to control the farmers’ protest. “Today it is against farmers. Nobody knows what the BJP might say even about soldiers tomorrow if it suits them. The farmers are hurt and angry against the BJP,” he alleged.
  10. Tens of thousands of farmers are holding protest at the borders of Delhi to protest against the farm laws, which they say will shrink their income by doing away with the minimum prices fixed by the government and leave them to be exploited by corporates. The government says the laws are major reforms in the farm sector that will help farmers dispense with middlemen and allow them to sell produce anywhere in the country.

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