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Farmers Protesting Against New Agri Laws Will Stay Put at UP Gate Border, Says BKU

Farmers protest at Singhu border against the Centre's farm laws. (File photo/PTI)

Farmers protest at Singhu border against the Centre's farm laws. (File photo/PTI)

More are continuously arriving at the protest site from various districts of the state and "we are camping here" till the Centre fulfils farmers' demands, he said.

Farmers protesting against the Centre’s new agri laws will stay put at the UP Gate border of the national capital, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Uttar Pradesh secretary Harendra Nehra said on Monday, asserting that they will not move till the legislations are rolled back. More are continuously arriving at the protest site from various districts of the state and “we are camping here" till the Centre fulfils farmers’ demands, he said.

BKU national president Naresh Tikait, who is at the UP Gate border, said, “We have sufficient ration to continue till the next Republic Day, if our demands are not met". “We will not go for a dialogue at the Sant Nirankari ground in Burari in Delhi. We will talk with the government on our own conditions at the Ramlila ground in the national capital," he said.

BKU state vice president Rajbir Singh said that farmers associated with the BKU have installed a temporary tent on the road and converted it into Tikait’s residence. Besides UP Gate, farmers, mostly from Punjab, are also protesting at the Singhu and Tikri borders of Delhi for the last five days. On Sunday, they rejected the Centre’s offer to hold talks once they move to the Burari ground and said they will not accept any conditional dialogue and threatened to block all five entry points to the national capital.

“This is the only government which is not paying heed to the demands of cultivators," Tikait said. On the decision to stay put at UP Gate, Nehra said that as per the strategy decided in the meeting of the BKU executive committee, farmers will stay at the border, till their demand of minimum support price is not fulfilled by the central government.

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“Under the garb of new agriculture laws the government is trying to make farmers puppets of capitalists who will buy their produce at their own rates," Tikait said. “Sugarcane arrears have not yet been cleared by mill owners. Debt ridden farmers are committing suicide, and their coming generations will not be able to repay loans to banks as the government has not waived farm loans," he said.

The new farm laws are - The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation); The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance; and Farm Services and The Essential Commodities (Amendment). Farmers say they are apprehensive that the laws will pave way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy" of big corporates. The government has, however, said that these will benefit farmers.

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