Farmers stage a protest at Singhu border during their Delhi Chalo march against the Centre's farm reform laws, in New Delhi, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020
Farmers stage a protest at Singhu border during their Delhi Chalo march against the Centre's farm reform laws, in New Delhi, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020
PTI

Farmers protesting against the Centre's three farm laws on Sunday rejected the Centre's 'conditiona' offer of early talks and decided to continue the protest at the Delhi borders instead of going to the Burari ground in the national capital.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had on Saturday appealed to the farmers to shift to the Sant Nirankari ground in Burari that was offered to them for peaceful protests and said the Centre was ready to hold discussions with them as soon as they move to the designated place.

Surjeet S Phul, president of BKU Krantikari (Punjab), termed the Burari ground, where some thousand farmers have already reached, an "open jail".

"The condition put forward for talks is an insult to farmers. We will never go to Burari. We've decided that we'll never go to Burari Park as we got proof that it's an open jail. Delhi Police told Uttarakhand Farmer Association President that they'll take them to Jantar Mantar but instead locked them at Burari Park. We've decided that we will gherao Delhi by blocking 5 main entry points to Delhi. We've got 4 months ration with us, so nothing to worry. Our Operations Committee will decide everything," he said.

He also announced that no political party will be allowed to use its stage to speak. "Our Committee will allow other organisations, who are supporting us, to speak if they follow our rules," Phul said.

Reacting to farmers protest, Union Agriculture Min Narendra Tomar said the farmers should quit agitation and choose talks.

"Government has proposed to meet on December 3 for the fourth time. So, talks are already going on, nobody should think govt isn't ready for it. Governmrnt is open for talks, farmers' unions should create atmosphere for it. They should leave agitation and choose talks," Tomar said.

Meanwhile, a lawyers group extended support to agitating farmers and gathered outside Supreme Court in solidarity.

"It is wrong to paint their protest in a political colour. Their demands are reasonable and the govt should accept them," Senior Advocate HS Phoolka said.

The All-India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh and various factions of Bharatiya Kisan Union had given the call for the 'Delhi Chalo' 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.

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