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Farmers' protest: Thousands reach Delhi borders, demand talks with senior ministers

Joe C Mathew     November 27, 2020

Farmers protesting against farm laws enacted by the Central government have sought a free and safe passage into Delhi after thousands of them were detained and blocked at the borders of the national capital.  

The farmers, marching from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, under the leadership of various national and regional platforms of farmers organisations as part of their 'Dilli Chalo' protest programme sought a space like Ramlila Maidan to gather and hold talks with the government. In an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the protestors wanted senior ministers of the Cabinet to hold discussions with them on their demands to repeal the three Farm Acts and the Electricity Bill 2020.

The letter stated that the farmers have had to face "unprecedented obstacles placed in their way by Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments presumably also at the behest of the central government, which tried every possible means to stop them - regular barricades, sand-laden trucks in multiple layers, barbed wire fences, huge boulders placed across the roads and even trenches on the road, water canons and tear gas".

They said that the thousands of farmers who have reached the borders of the capital region of the country shall continue to resolutely move forward towards the Capital.

"The nation, and the Government of India in particular have reached a crucial juncture when they have to ensure that farmers should not undergo this, and to ensure that no untoward incident occurs in an unfortunate stand-off between our annadatas and the government. It is because our voices were not heard and taken into account when framing the ordinances or passing them as Acts in the Parliament that has brought about this situation. The representations given to you multiple times in mounting agitations by farmers and their organisations across India are yet to receive replies from you," the letter said.

It wanted the government to stop its confrontationist attitude of denying the farmers an opportunity to be heard. The letter said it becomes meaningless for the government to offer talks and not create a conducive atmosphere for such talks to happen.  The letter has been jointly written by Balbir Singh Rajewal, Daljeet Singh Dallewala, Gurnam Singh Chaduni, VM Singh, Raju Shetti, Shivkumar Sharma Kakkaji and Yogendra Yadav, members of the coordination committee of Samyukt Kisan Morcha.

Also read: Farmers' protests: Thousands to reach Delhi today; police deployment up in border areas

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