Press Trust of india

Farmers in Punjab, Haryana ‘gherao’ FCI offices

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Chandigarh: Farmers in Punjab and Haryana on Monday held protests outside Food Corporation of India (FCI) offices and raised various demands, including a legal guarantee for the minimum support price.

The protesters expressed anguish over the central government’s decision to seek farmers’ land records for online payments to their accounts and demanded its immediate rollback.

Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan said his organisation ‘gheraoed’ 34 FCI offices in 15 districts of Punjab.

Protests were also held outside the central procurement agency at Chandigarh, Amritsar, Sangrur and Haryana’s Kurukshetra and Sonipat.

The protesters asked the Centre to give a legal guarantee on the MSP for their produce.

Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher asked the Centre to postpone its decision of direct payment to farmers for the time being, saying if it is implemented, then those who cultivate land under tenancy will face problems in getting payment.

The farmers also demanded that the procurement process be completed in a minimum time.

The government should ensure that farmers do not face any problem due to lack of wheat bags and other facilities, the protesters said.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur, with their main demand being complete repeal of the three farm laws and a legal guarantee for the minimum support price on their crops.

So far, there have been 11 rounds of talks between the protesting unions and government, but the deadlock has continued as both sides have stuck to their stand.

In January, the government had offered to suspend the farm laws for 12-18 months, which was rejected by the farmer unions.


After Delhi, Tikait threatens tractor agitation in Gujarat

Ahmedabad: Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Monday threatened to start a farmers’ tractor agitation in Gujarat after Delhi, and said time has come to gherao the state capital Gandhinagar and also break barricades if needed.

Talking to reporters outside the Sabarmati Ashram here, Tikait claimed farmers in Gujarat were unhappy and suffering.

Hundreds of farmers have been camping at Delhi’s borders since November last year against the Centre’s three agriculture reform laws. They are demanding a repeal of the three laws along with a legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their produce.

The protesting farmers took out a tractor rally in Delhi on January 26.

“Farmers will conduct an agitation in Gujarat using their tractors. Time has come to gherao Gandhinagar and block roads. If needed, we will have to break barricades too,” Tikait said.

The BKU leader is on a two-day tour of Gujarat since Sunday to campaign against the Centre’s three farm laws.

On the second day of his visit, Tikait, accompanied by former Gujarat chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela, paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at the Sabarmati Ashram.

“Farmers are suffering because there is no agitation here. There is no backing from courts also. Farmers are compelled to say they are happy and making profit. Please give  us that technology which is helping Gujarat’s farmers to reap benefits,” said Tikait.

He claimed farmers of Banaskantha are compelled to sell potatoes for Rs 3 per kilogram.

“Is that enough to make farmers happy? We have come here to remove fear from the minds of farmers. We will agitate in a peaceful manner,” Tikait said, when asked about his future plans for Gujarat.

Later, Tikait and Vaghela reached Karamsad town in Anand district and paid tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at his native place.

Tikait then headed to Bardoli in Surat, where he would address farmers in the evening.

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