Ghaziabad: Hundreds of farmers taking part in the ‘Kisan Mazdoor Adhikar Yatra’, which began from Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh on September 11, to Delhi, called off their agitation on Saturday evening, following a meeting between a farmers’ delegation and the principal secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture at Krishi Bhawan. However, the farmers made it clear that their movement would continue until their demands, such as payment of sugarcane dues, loan waivers, cheap electricity, check on stray cattle, were fully met.
The marching farmers, led by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), were stopped on Friday at the Delhi-UP border, following which they squatted on the national highways leading into the capital. The farmers were heading to the Kisan Ghat, located in the heart of Delhi. There was heavy police deployment and barricading on the border near Ghazipur, to stop the farmers from entering Delhi.
According to reports, the Centre has accepted only five key demands out of 15 demands while assuring the farmers that the other issues would be sorted out within two weeks.
Speaking to Newsclick, Thakur Puran Singh, national president of the Rashtriya Kisan Sangathan said, "After successful talks with government officials at Krishi Bhawan, we have called off the protest which we ran for 11 days. Out of our 15 key demands, the government has agreed on only five. The rest of the demands will be discussed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is available. We will meet him after 10 days, after which our next course of action will be decided."
Singh warned the Narendra Modi government to not take farmers for granted and said: "If the government’s promises are proved to be false, we will start a massive agitation and hunger strike from Saharanpur again."
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath had set a deadline of August 31 for all sugar mills to settle farmers’ arrears, but the total outstanding amount still stands at close to Rs 6,400 crore. To top this, because of huge loans on farmers in the sugarcane belt, most farmers are living on the edge. Blaming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre and the state for the ‘pathetic’ condition of the farm sector as well as farmers, the farmers’ union has put forward a list of 15 demands, as reported by Newsclick earlier.
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