New Delhi: The heads of all farmer unions protesting against the Centre’s new agri laws will observe a one-day hunger strike Monday, farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni said here, as the agitating peasantry and the administration prepared for an escalation in the protest from December 14.
The hunger strike between 8 am and 5 pm is part of the farmers’ plan to intensify their agitation from Monday.
Addressing a press conference at the Singhu border, Chaduni said the leaders will observe the hunger strike at their respective places.
“Also, dharnas will be staged at all district headquarters across the country and the farmers will submit a memorandum of demands addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The protest will go on as usual,” he told reporters.
Caduni said some small groups of farmers have ended their protest saying they are satisfied with the amendments proposed by the government in agri laws.
“We want to clarify that they are not associated with us. They have been hand-in-glove with the government, they conspired to sabotage our protest. The government is hatching a conspiracy to derail the ongoing farmers’ protest,” Chaduni claimed.
He asked all farmers’ unions to follow “what is being said by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha only”.
Farmer leader Shiv Kumar Kakka claimed “government agencies have been stopping farmers from reaching Delhi, but the protest will continue till our demands are met”.
“Our stand is clear, we want the three farm laws repealed. We will fight till our last breath. There is no question of withdrawing or leaving midway,” he said.
“All farmer unions participating in this movement are together” and the decisions taken by the committee of farmers’ representatives at the Singhu border apply to everyone.
Another farmer leader, Rakesh Tikait, said if the government offers another proposal for talks, the ‘Kisan Samyukt Morcha’ will decide on it. He appealed to all to maintain peace during the protest.
Sandeep Gidde, a farmer leader from Maharashtra, announced at the press conference that the proposed indefinite hunger strike by farmers from December 19 has been cancelled and it will be a day-long strike on Monday instead.
Meanwhile, at a virtual press briefing, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also asked the BJP-ruled Centre to shun “arrogance” and scrap the three farm laws as demanded by the agitating farmers, and also bring a Bill to guarantee minimum support price (MSP) for agricultural produce.
Kejriwal said he will hold one-day fast on Monday in response to a call given by the agitating farmers and urged his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) volunteers as well as the people of the country to join in.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police stepped up vigil on the national capital’s border with Haryana on Sunday as farmers gathered at the Jaipur National Highway-8, which passes through Gurgaon, in a bid to block it as part of their protest.
The city police had on Saturday increased security arrangements by deploying additional personnel and placing more concrete barriers.
Measures have also been taken to ensure commuters do not face inconvenience, a senior police officer said.
Farmer leaders had said that thousands of farmers will start their ”Delhi Chalo” march with their tractors from Rajasthan’s Shahjahanpur through the Jaipur highway at 11 am on Sunday.