Farmers’ unions to escalate agitation

“The propaganda that the government is doing that 50% of the matters have been resolved is wrong. Right now, only the tail has passed, the elephant still remains. The government has not even expressed an in-principle agreement on the issue of the ...

Agencies
When the central ministers and farmers’ unions had a lunch break during their 5-hour meeting on December 30 at Vigyan Bhavan, the IT cell decided to do a FB Live with farmers’ leaders on the progress of talks.
New Delhi: Leaving the Centre stumped, farmers’ unions have decided to escalate their agitation. The move comes as a “surprise” to the government as both sides had termed the last round of talks held on Wednesday a “success”.

“The propaganda that the government is doing that 50% of the matters have been resolved is wrong. Right now, only the tail has passed, the elephant still remains. The government has not even expressed an in-principle agreement on the issue of the minimum support price,” said Swaraj India’s Yogendra Yadav at the unions’ press conference.

The unions demanded that the government must first send them “in writing” to what they had agreed to in the last meeting, including scrapping the draft electricity bill and excluding farmers from the air pollution ordinance. Unions also warned that the government should not treat them like the Shaheen Bagh protesters. Yadav said the unions will hold a press conference on Saturday at the Press Club and make a “big announcement” on their future course.


A senior government official expressed surprise at the hardening of farmers’ tone ahead of the next meeting on Monday and pointed out that Yadav was not part of the 41 leaders invited to the meeting on December 30.

“Even senior farmer leaders after the meeting spoke of a near 50% success and we decided to speak on the two main issues around the three laws and MSP at the next meeting on January 4. Talks had earlier derailed in similar fashion after a good meeting on December 3,” the senior official told ET. Yadav said farmers will take out a tractor rally on KMP expressway on January 6 and threatened that farmers will march beyond police barricades at Shahjanpur border towards Delhi. He also announced a two-week farmer awareness campaign from January 7.

The message from the unions is being amplified by their IT wing Kisan Ekta Morcha. The social media channels of the Morcha are buzzing with updates on the Singhu border, with the IT wing increasing its digital footprint in two weeks with over 12 lakh followers on YouTube, 3.2 lakh on Facebook, 1.76 lakh on Instagram and 1.2 lakh on Twitter, with an aim to cut through traditional media channels to get the right message across to the people and defeat “any government propaganda”, farmer leader Darshan Pal told ET.
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When the central ministers and farmers’ unions had a lunch break during their 5-hour meeting on December 30 at Vigyan Bhavan, the IT cell decided to do a FB Live with farmers’ leaders on the progress of talks.
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