Farmers' leaders addressing the media on November 29. (PC- ANI)
After rejecting the Centre's proposal to shift protests to Delhi's Burari ground, farmers' bodies - protesting against the new farm laws - on November 29 said they would block five main entry points into the national capital.
"Instead of going to open jail in Burari, 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," BKU Krantikari president Surjeet S Phul said while declining Union Home Minister Amit Shah's offer to shift the protests to Burari ground.
Farmers' march: Protesters stay put at borders, to decide on future course of action
The BKU declined the Centre's offer of shifting the protest site to Burari park, referring it as an open jail. "We've decided that we'll never go to Burari Park as we got proof that it's an open jail. The Delhi Police told Uttarakhand Farmer Association President that they'll take them to Jantar Mantar but instead locked them at Burari Park," Phul added.
Phul's decision was echoed by another farmers' leader protesting at Singhu border. "We'll not go to Burari (Delhi). Our 30 farmers' organisations will take decisions after consensus is developed. Our leaders will brief media about it later today," said Baldev Singh Sirsa.
Also, farmers' bodies have made it clear that they would not let any political party leader speak on their stage, be it the Congress, BJP, AAP or any other.
Surjeet Singh Paul assured the media that after every meeting they will release an official press note for the media. He also apologised to the media for misbehaviour with them.
Meanwhile, Haryana Khap Panchayat has come in support for the farmers. "All Khaps of Haryana today unanimously decided to support protesting farmers by all means. Khaps will gather on November 30 and proceed towards Delhi. We request the Centre to re-consider Farm Laws. Everyone has a right to express themselves," Dadri MLA and Haryana Khap Pradhan Sombir Sangwan said.
Earlier, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar said the government was willing to speak with the farmers and had set the date for meeting on December 3. He appealed the farmers to leave agitation and resume talks.
"Govt has proposed to meet on December 3 for the fourth time. So, talks are already going on, nobody should think government isn't ready for it. The government is open for talks, farmers' unions should create an atmosphere for it. They should leave agitation & choose talks," ANI quoted Tomar as saying.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also clarified on November 29 that he never called farmers' protest politically motivated. "I never called the farmers’ protest politically motivated, neither I am calling it now," Shah said while addressing the press.
Farmers who arrived at the Delhi-Haryana border as part of their 'Delhi Chalo' march against three farm bills, claim to have the ration for four months. The farmers have come prepared for a long haul, their vehicles loaded with rations, utensils, quilts and blankets for the cold and equipped with even charging points for their phones.(With inputs from agencies)