Not in our interest: Farmers reject MSP proposal, to go ahead with ‘Dilli Chalo’ : The Tribune India

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Not in our interest: Farmers reject MSP proposal, to go ahead with ‘Dilli Chalo’

Seek written assurance on 23 crops | Say still open to talks but march to start tomorrow

Not in our interest: Farmers reject MSP proposal, to go ahead with ‘Dilli Chalo’

Protesting farmers at the Punjab-Haryana border in Shambhu near Patiala on Monday. PTI



Tribune News Service

Aman Sood

Patiala, February 19

After consultations and discussions for the entire day today, farmer unions have rejected the Centre’s proposal for buying three pulses — arhar, tur and urad — besides cotton and maize, at the MSP. Union leaders have announced that the ‘Dilli Chalo’ march will proceed on February 21 at 11 am.

Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Sidhupur) chief Jagjit Singh Dallewal said after detailed discussions with various farmer unions and groups, the offer by the Central Government on the MSP for selective crops had been rejected. “The government has been delaying the issue and unless it offers and gives in writing about the MSP on all 23 crops, we will be left with no option but to protest. The government should fix the crop prices as per the Swaminathan Commission report,” said Dallewal.

The government had proposed to buy arhar, tur, urad, cotton and maize on the MSP. Punjab farmers already get the MSP on wheat and paddy. “The offer by the government is not beneficial for the farmers and we reject it. We are open to talks but our march to Delhi will proceed peacefully,” he said. Backing the decision, Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher said they discussed the Centre’s proposal in detail with experts and other farmer leaders. “The Centre has been using one ploy or the other to delay the issue and instead of coming to the point and accepting the long-pending and genuine demands of the agitating farmers, there are only assurances and promises,” Pandher said, adding that “the proposals were not in the interest of farmers”. “It doesn’t mean we are not open to talks,” he said.

Meanwhile, hundreds of farmers joined the “Dilli Chalo” protest at Shambhu as the crowds continue to swell. On the sixth day, there was no confrontation between the Haryana police and the agitating farmers.

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