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Farmer Protests: Fourth round of talks between Centre and farmer unions from Punjab to take place on Sunday, BKU (Tikait) extends support

The previous three meetings to resolve the impasse were inconclusive. The last meeting between Centre and the farmers took place on 15th February.

On 18th February, Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda and Nityanand Rai will meet farmer union leaders from Punjab for the fourth round of talks. The previous three meetings to resolve the impasse were inconclusive. The last meeting between Centre and the farmers took place on 15th February. The protesting farmers started marching towards Delhi on Tuesday, 13th February, but Haryana Police stopped them at Shambhu and Khanauri borders.

Before the fourth round of talks, union leader Sarwan Singh Pandher asked the Central Government to issue an ordinance for the MSP Guarantee. He said, “The entire country is looking towards PM Modi to gather courage and take firm decisions on MSP and loan interest waiver. We hope to get good news from tomorrow’s meeting. We haven’t yet taken back our decision to go to Delhi, but if the central government accepts our demands, the matter will be solved here itself. The ball is in the government’s court.”

Pandher added that farmers grow wheat and rice as there is no price guarantee on pulses and oil seeds. “If we get guarantees, who stops us from producing them,” he said. Jagjit Singh Dallwal echoed the demand for an ordinance on the MSP Guarantee. He said, “If the government wants to bring an ordinance on MSP, why is it delaying?”

Meanwhile, BKU (Charuni) and BKU leader Rakesh Tikait announced support for the ongoing farmer protests. Tikait said further protests would take place in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and Uttarakhand on 21st February if the demands are not met.

Internet suspension continues in Haryana

Meanwhile, the Haryana government has extended the ban on mobile internet for two more days in seven districts till 19th February, given farmer protests. Mobile internet will remain suspended in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad, and Sirsa.

Sit-in protests outside BJP leaders’ residences in Punjab

Meanwhile, several sit-in protests were held outside the residents of BJP leaders across Haryana. BKU (Charuni) faction also took out a tractor march in the state. BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) also held a sit-in protest at the borders of Punjab and outside residents of Amarinder Singh in Patiala, Sunil Jakhar in Abohar and Kewal Singh Dillon in Barnala. 

Prices to go up in Delhi due to protests

Amidst the farmer protests, the prices of vegetables are rising in the national capital. As per ANI’s report, the price of vegetables has spiked in Delhi. A vegetable trader told the news agency, “The price of carrots has increased by ₹4 in the last 15 days after supply from Punjab was disrupted following farmers’ protest. This could lead to a rise in the price of vegetables. This issue between the farmers and the government should end soon.”

However, another trader said there was no immediate effect, but if the protests continue, the supply from UP, Ganganagar, Pune and other regions will be affected. He said, “There is no impact on the prices of vegetables currently. Suppose protests continue, and there are more road blockages. In that case, the supply of vegetables from UP, Ganganagar, Pune, etc. may get affected, leading to a possible hike in the price of some vegetables.”

Why are farmers protesting

The farmers are protesting to get their demands fulfilled by the Union Government, including a legal guarantee of MSP, implementation of Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, pension for farmers and labourers, debt waiver, no hike in electricity traffic, withdrawal of police cases, reinstatement of Land Acquisition Act, 2012, compensation for the families of farmers who allegedly died during 2020-21 protests and more.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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