Farmers To Block Delhi-Jaipur Highway As Protests Intensify

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Farmers’ protest is set to intensify today as they plan to block Delhi-Jaipur highway, a day after one of the 32 protesting unions moved the Supreme Court against the centre’s contentious agricultural laws. The farmers’ leaders have dismissed claims that “ultra-left” and “pro-Left Wing Extremist” elements have hijacked their agitation, the biggest in the last few years. Thousands of cops are on duty at entry points to the national capital to block the movement of the protesters.

  1. Two thousand policemen are on duty in Gurgaon and 3,500 policemen are on duty in Faridabad to stop the protesters, officials have said. The two cities in Haryana share borders with Delhi.
  2. A petition was filed on Friday in the Supreme court by the Bharatiya Kisan Union that sought repeal of the three “arbitrary” laws. The top court has already issued notices to the centre on a batch of petitions challenging the laws.
  3. With the deadlock over the new legislations entering the third week, the ruling BJP has planned a massive campaign across the country. As part of the big push from the ruling party over the next few days, 100 press conferences and 700 farmers’ meets have been planned in 700 districts, sources in the party said.
  4. On Friday, protesters dismissed claims that their protest were influenced by “ultra-left”. “We reject this claim of the government. No one can influence us. This is the government’s propaganda to defame us. All the decisions are taken by the Samyukt Kisan Union,” Raminder Singh Patiyal, president of one of the 32 demonstrating groups Kirti Kisan Sangathan, said.
  5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke more than 25 times on farm reforms and led the government’s effort to reach out to farmers, top sources said on Friday, challenging the perception that the new farm laws at the core of massive protests were enacted without enough consultation.
  6. “PM spoke more than 25 times, more than 2.23 crore SMS were sent to farmers in October and 1,37,054 webinars were held that reached out to 92 lakhs farmers and the Agriculture Minister (Narendra Tomar) had multiple meetings,” said sources.
  7. In Haryana, Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, a BJP ally, on Friday said he would resign from his post if he is unable to secure the minimum support price (MSP) guarantee for farmers. “Our party’s national president already made it clear that MSP must be ensured to farmers. The written proposals given by the Central government to the protesting farmers include a provision for MSPs. I will work to secure MSP for farmers as long as I am in power,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
  8. Earlier this week, the protesters unanimously rejected the Centre’s written offer of amendments in farm laws, and announced a series of plans to escalate their protest. By December 14, there will be a full-scale protest across the country, they said.
  9. A meeting with Amit Shah earlier this week failed to resolve the deadlock. After the meeting, the sixth of consultations between the farmers and protesters was cancelled.
  10. Thousands of farmers have been camping on the outskirts of Delhi since late November. They say the new laws will leave them at the mercy of corporates even as government as assured repeatedly the legislations bring much-needed reforms.