With the farmer unions intensifying the protests for their demand for the repeal of the farm laws, the farmers on Monday have started an indefinite relay hunger strike around the Delhi borders.
After five rounds of failed negotiations the central government on Sunday asked the protesting farmers to choose a date for a new round of talks.
The relay hinger strike is the third major national event by the farmers after the nationwide strike earlier this month which was supported by opposition parties and trade unions, and last week’s hunger strike by farmer leaders.
In a letter to 40 farm leaders, Vivek Aggarwal, joint secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare said that the government was making all the efforts with ‘an open heart’ to find an appropriate solution to resolve the concerns raised by the farmers.
This letter has come in response to the letter in which the farmers had informed the government of the farm unions’ decision to reject the Centre’s proposal of concessions regarding changes in the farm laws.
On Sunday, the protesting farmers called to intensify the agitation and Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav, one of the leaders in the protest told reporters, “We will hold an indefinite relay hunger strike here, in which 11 people will take it in turns to fast for 24 hours each.”
The agitating farmers also hit out at the government and said that they will ‘bang thalis during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s radio broadcast Mann ki Baat.’ The farmers appealed to the people to skip a meal on Kisan Diwas on Wednesday ‘to honour the men and women who put food on your table for three meals a day.’
Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal slammed the government and said that it was trying to intimidate Arhityas (commission agents)supporting the farmers’ protests
Previous five rounds of talks between the government and the unions have failed to break the deadlock with the farmers. The farmers are insisting on repeal of the three laws and camping at various border points of Delhi for over three weeks now.