Union Home Minister Amit Shah will meet Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today amid the escalating farmers protest around Delhi, spearheaded by farmers from Punjab and Haryana. The meeting will take place at 9.30 am, sources said, ahead of the crucial meeting with farmers’ representatives.
Today’s meeting with farmer organisations will be the fourth since the protests started.
The last one, held on Tuesday after a series of discussions between Mr Shah and his cabinet colleagues, fell through. The farmers’ representatives had unanimously turned down the Centre’s proposal of a special committee to thrash out the differences and resolve concerns over the farm laws.
A breakthrough was not expected in a single meeting, sources had said, in view of the government firmly standing by the laws it has called “historic reforms” in the farm sector.
But the farmers have hardened their stance, warning that tomorrow is the “last chance” for the government to take a decision on the laws. In place of a committee, they have demanded a special session of parliament to repeal what they have called “black laws” made to favour corporates.
“Tomorrow is the last chance for the government to take a decision to repeal the laws, otherwise this movement will become huge and the government will fall,” Pratibha Shinde of the Lok Sangharsh Morcha, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
While Delhi has been the hub of the farmers’ protest, with thousands camping at its borders with rations they say will last for a year, farmer leaders have warned that that the movement will soon begin in states.
“The government tried to show this is only the movement of farmers in Punjab. The government tried to divide us,” said Dr Darshan Pal, President of the Krantikari Kisan Union.
Ms Shinde warned that today, farmers will burn effigies in every district of Maharashtra and on December 5 in Gujarat.