Stir to continue, say farmers' leaders

NEW DELHI: Farmer unions have said they would continue with their agitation till the farm laws were repealed. Their peaceful protest on Delhi’s borders will not be put on hold even if an expert committee is set up by the Supreme Court to look into the laws.

“It is good that the Supreme Court has indicated a stay on the farm laws. But we feel that setting up an expert committee after that to look into the farm laws will only delay the matter. The government is playing games and we do not trust it. We will continue to sit on our peaceful agitation till the three farm laws are repealed and the government introduces a law on minimum support price,” a senior union leader told ET, speaking on the condition of anonymity as the matter was pending in SC. He said the government should have stayed the laws when SC suggested the same at a hearing last month. “But the government is just stuck on ego,” he said.

Another senior union representative said that protesting farmers would go ahead the tractor march in Delhi on Republic Day and a route map was being drawn up for the same. “We are ready to give an assurance to court and also police authorities in Delhi and Haryana that the tractor march on January 26 will be peaceful and will not pose threat to law and order,” the leader said. He said that even the SC has not asked farmers to call off the peaceful protest. Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said the onus was on the government to withdraw the farm laws. “It is the government which has done the mistake (of bringing these farm laws) and it has to correct its mistake,” Tikait said, when asked if farmer unions would be happy if SC suspended the laws.

Union leaders claimed SC’s adverse observations on government mishandling talks vindicated their argument that the ministers were adamant on having an agenda during talks and only new dates were set in the eight meetings, without ‘meaningful’ talks. “Over 75 farmers have died during the protests but the government has not expressed any sorrow,” Tikait said.

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