The farmers of the country who have been protesting since over a month at the borders of the national capital remained put at their protest sites braving chilled weather conditions. On the night of 31st as the country ushered into a new year, thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, sat protesting at various borders of the national capital demanding that the new farm laws be repealed.
Farmers participated in a candle light vigil in memory of 40 farmers who lost their lives, during their ongoing agitation at Ghazipur border in New Delhi
Earlier on Thursday night, their leaders said there is no alternative to farmers’ demands of legal guarantee for MSP and repealing the new agri laws. However, the government and farmer unions after nearly five hours of the sixth round of negotiations on Wednesday reached some common ground to resolve protesting farmers’ concerns over rise in power tariff and penalties for stubble burning.
The stretch of Singhu border saw the protesters wrapped in blankets huddling around bonfire to keep themselves warm as harsh winter conditions took over the night. Farmers have stated that if the upcoming round of talks on January 4 will not yield results, they will be sitting unmoved till even Makar Sankranti. In the last round of talks on Wednesday, the government addressed the farmers’ concerns over the increasing power tariff and penalties for stubble burning, but that wasn’t good enough news to celebrate yet, said the farmers.
.Among the issues that continue to remain unresolved are the revocation of the new farm laws and a legal guarantee of the minimum support price for their crops.
“There is no New Year for us until the government accepts our demands,” Harjinder Singh from Punjab’s Ropar, who has been camping at the Delhi-Haryana border since November 25, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Most farmers this year will be welcoming the New Year away from their families, but they are not complaining.
“Yes, we have a family back home and we are missing them, but this is also our family. All these farmers are our brothers, and uncles, said Harjinder.
Gurpreet Hayer from Jalandhar and Pratap Singh from Bhatinda have decided to do ‘sewa’ in the New Year as they had done in the past.
Among the bare minimum celebrations, the Working People’s Charter has called upon people from across the country to usher in the New Year with the farmers.