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Farmers to Expand Protests, Go on Hunger Strike on 14 December

Kisan Sangharsh Samiti President said that farmers will be blocking the Delhi-Jaipur route on Sunday.

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India
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On the 17th day of the protest against the three contentious farm laws, farmers on Saturday, 12 December, announced their plan to expand the demonstrations to a 'pan-India' scale, appealing all sections of society, including girls and women, to join them.

Declaring that they’ll hold a day-long “hunger strike” on Monday, 14 December, farmer representatives of 32 different unions jointly announced their plans for a ‘pan-India’ protest, if the government does not accept their demands and withdraws the three laws.

Addressing a press conference at the Singhu border, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti President Kawalpreet Singh Pannu said that the farmers will move from Rajasthan's Shajapur to the Delhi borders, blocking the Delhi-Jaipur route on Sunday, and all District Collector offices would become the Centre of the protest on Monday.

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Announcing that all the leaders of 32 unions would sit on a day-long hunger strike at the Singhu border protest site from 8 am to 5 am on Monday, Pannu sought support from other sections of society.

“We request our sisters and mothers to become part of the protest. We are arranging for the seating, sleeping and hygiene facilities for women protesters. We appeal the girls and women across India to join the protest.[sic.]”

He, however, made it clear that they wanted to keep this movement as peaceful as possible.

"The government had been saying since the beginning that these laws are for the benefit of farmers but we had told them that it is for the corporate houses," Pannu said.

Committed to Protect the Interest of Farmers: PM Modi Amid Protests

Speaking at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry’s (FICCI) 93rd Annual General Meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about the three new farm reforms, against which the farmers have been protesting. He said that these reforms “will give farmers new markets, access to technology and help bring investments in agriculture that will benefit farmers”.

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Haryana Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala Meets Rajnath in Delhi

Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, founder of the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ally in the state, met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday. During the meeting, the two leaders discussed the issues of farmers and the ongoing protest movement these days.

Chautala informed Rajnath Singh about the farmers’ issue and gave necessary suggestions to find a solution to resolve the deadlock. After the meeting, Chautala assured the farmers that MSP will remain.

“I'm hopeful that there is mutual consent between the Centre and farmers' union and we can resolve this issue by talks. I am hopeful that in the next 28 to 40 hours, there will be another round of talks and some conclusive statement can be out,” he told ANI.

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Despite five rounds of talks between the government and the farmers, there is no solution in sight, as both sides are adamant on their points.

Farmers are demanding the repeal of the three farm laws, calling them "black laws" and "anti-farmer", but the government is not ready for a roll back. As per Centre, it is ready for amendments to the laws but these cannot be repealed, reiterating that they are for the benefit of farmers.

(With inputs from IANS.)

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