Vibha Sharma & Mukesh Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi/Sonepat, January 21
Protesting farm unions today rejected the government’s offer to suspend the three contentious agri laws for a year and a half, or any mutually agreed period, and set up a joint committee to find an amicable solution to end the impasse.
The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of around 40 unions, made the announcement following a meeting at Singhu border. It appeared to be a difficult decision for the union leaders to make as they held several rounds of talks through the day and even sought opinion from the protesters gathered on Delhi’s borders. The Haryana Police, meanwhile, have cancelled leave of its personnel in view of the stir.
Sources claimed 17 of the total 32 farm unions of Punjab rejected the Centre’s offer, terming it as a “tactic to derail the agitation by dividing the farmers”. “Repeal of the three central laws and a legislation for remunerative MSP were reiterated as the pending demands of the movement, which will be communicated to the Union ministers tomorrow,” said Joginder Singh Ugrahan of BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan).
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Ugrahan alleged the government was trying to buy peace for the time being by suspending the laws for 18 months, but the farmers would not relent till these were repealed. “The Centre is testing the patience of the farmers. The unions unanimously rejected the Centre’s offer. We won’t return till the laws are abolished,” he said.
BJP leader RP Singh, meanwhile, condemned the farmers saying such “adamant attitude” wasn’t good for democracy.
Earlier, the unions also rejected the Delhi Police’s proposal to shift their proposed Republic Day tractor rally from Delhi’s Outer Ring Road.
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