Farmers will stay wherever they are for now and the next course of action will be decided on Sunday, a union leader said. Bharatiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda) president Buta Singh Burjgill over the phone said no decision has yet been taken on shifting to the Burari ground in Delhi, a place earmarked for their agitation by police.
It has been decided that on Saturday night, protesting farmers will stay wherever they are, he said, adding that a large number of them have assembled at the Singhu and Tikri borders with the national capital. He said representatives of several farmers' organisations will hold another round of meeting on Sunday to decide the next course of action.
However, the BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan), one of the largest farmer organisations in Punjab, said they will not go to the Burari ground in Delhi. We urge the Union government to give us a place at the Jantar Mantar for the agitation. We will not go to the Burari ground at any cost, said BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) senior vice-president Jhanda Singh Jethuke.
Meanwhile, Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma urged farmers take to discussions to resolve their issues. Sharma urged them to avoid holding demonstrations.
In a statement here, Sharma said the Centre has fixed December 3 for the next round of talks with farmer leaders. He expressed hope that there would be a positive outcome after the meeting. Punjab farmers resumed their Delhi Chalo march against the Centre's new farm laws on Saturday morning after halting for the night to join thousands who have already reached the national capital's borders.
We have reached close to the Delhi border. But we are stuck because of traffic snarls. Our farmers who are in tractor-trailers are still behind us, said BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) leader Jhanda Singh Jethuke. Earlier in the day, BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) leaders claimed that over one lakh farmers, including elderly women, are marching to the national capital in tractor-trailers, buses and other vehicles.
We have ration for five to six months to sustain ourselves. We will not return till the Centre scraps the new farm laws, a protesting farmer said. Farmers have brought ration, vegetables, utensils, wood and other essentials for their march. In view of cold weather conditions, they have stocked quilts, blankets and covered their trolleys with tarpaulin.
Farmers associated with the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) said they entered Haryana on Saturday. Earlier in the day, BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) leader Shingara Singh said farmers again started heading towards Delhi in the morning after a night halt at Meham in Rohtak district of Haryana.
Another group of farmers made a night halt at Julana in Haryana's Jind district, he said. Farmers with the outfit had on Friday broken through police barricades at Khanauri and Dabwali borders between Punjab and Haryana.
Punjab farmers in large numbers had on Friday crossed the state's border with Haryana. Some even faced water cannons and teargas. Meanwhile, Senior Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to listen to their concerns.
@narendramodi ji I urge you to reach out and listen to the concerns of the farmers immediately. The GoI should not wait till Dec 3 to conduct discussions with the farmer unions, Bajwa said in a tweet. Our kisans, those who feed our nation are braving the cold, water cannons and tear gas all to be heard by the GoI. the Hon'ble PM can help de-escalate the growing tension, Bajwa said in another tweet.
The All-India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh and various factions of Bharatiya Kisan Union had given the call for the march. Farmers protesting against the Centre's three farm laws have expressed apprehension that these will pave a way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporates.
The Centre has invited several Punjab farmer organisations for another round of talks in Delhi on December 3.