Farmers' protest to heat up as 'Delhi Chalo' enters Day 5

Despite three rounds of talks between farmer leaders and Union Ministers Arjun Munda, Piyush Goyal, and Nityanand Rai on Thursday, no breakthrough has been achieved.

Satyam Singh
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Courtesy: ANI

The nationwide bandh called by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) and others is entering into day 5 on Saturday as farmers push forward their demands. The protest threw a wrench in daily life across several states, particularly Punjab and Haryana, as farmers demanded their voices be heard. However, with talks with the government remaining inconclusive, the SKM has declared its intention to intensify their 'Delhi Chalo' agitation in the coming days, raising concerns about further disruptions.

What are the demands of protesters?

The crux of the farmers' demands lies in securing a legal guarantee for the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their crops, ensuring a fair and stable income. Moreover, they seek the implementation of the recommendations made by the Swaminathan Commission, designed to improve farmers' welfare.

Alongside these core demands, issues like pensions, debt relief, electricity tariff control, justice for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, land acquisition reforms, and compensation for deceased farmers remain unresolved.

Union ministers fail to find common ground

Despite three rounds of talks between farmer leaders and Union Ministers Arjun Munda, Piyush Goyal, and Nityanand Rai on Thursday, no breakthrough has been achieved. The SKM has accused the government of stalling tactics and failing to uphold promises made when the previous protest at Delhi borders ended in 2021.

This perceived lack of progress has fueled their frustration and led to the decision to ramp up their agitation. Following the incident, a fourth round of talks is scheduled between the parties on Saturday.

In the coming days, crucial meetings are planned in Jalandhar and Delhi to strategize the next steps. While the SKM has remained tight-lipped about specific actions, the possibility of intensifying the 'Delhi Chalo' protest looms large.

Latest developments as Framer Protest enters Day 5

1. On Friday, Haryana Police used tear gas to disperse protesting farmers at the Shambhu border near Ambala amid their 'Bharat Bandh' call. Talks between farmers and the government remained inconclusive.

2. Despite meetings on February 8, 12, and 15, no breakthrough was reached as farmers stood firm on their demand for a Minimum Support Price (MSP) guarantee.

3. A Haryana Police sub-inspector, Hira Lal, stationed at Shambhu border, died on duty, said a police spokesperson.

4. The SKM initiated the 'Bharat Bandh' demanding MSP guarantee among other issues.

5. The 'Bharat Bandh' disrupted transport and closed markets across Haryana, but passed peacefully, officials reported. Farmers blocked highways and protested at toll plazas.

6. In Hisar, Haryana Roadways services were affected as staff supported the bandh. Kurukshetra saw minimal impact.

7. Protests, led by BKU leader Rakesh Tikait, occurred in western UP. Disruptions were reported in Bijnor and plans for future actions were discussed.

8. SKM accused the government of secrecy in talks and criticized security measures at Delhi borders.

9. SKM vowed to intensify the agitation, accusing the government of failing on promises made during previous protests.

10. Farmers demand legal MSP guarantee, Swaminathan Commission recommendations, pension, debt waiver, no electricity tariff hike, justice for Lakhimpur Kheri victims, and compensation for 2020-21 agitation deaths.