In a bid to defuse tensions and address the ongoing protest, farmer leaders recently met with Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Nityanand Rai, Arjun Munda, along with Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
Following the meeting, Jagjit Singh Dallewal, representing the farmers union, expressed optimism stating, "We had a meeting with the Government today. The meeting was held in a positive atmosphere, Punjab Govt took the initiative. We presented all our demands in detail, with facts...The government listened to us & said that they will examine all our facts seriously."
"Our programme for 13th February will continue as it is", he added.
Anticipating further developments, Haryana Police have intensified efforts to seal the borders with Punjab ahead of the planned march to the national capital on 13 February.
Deploying engineers from the Army and Railways, authorities aim to install reinforced concrete cement (RCC) structures at strategic points along the roads to prevent the movement of farmers.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha had earlier issued a call for 'Dilli Chalo' on 13 February, pressing for various demands such as a legal guarantee for the minimum support price (MSP) and the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations.
A senior officer told The Indian Express that the Haryana government had sought 64 companies of the Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF) and 50 of them have already been allotted to the state.
Besides a legal guarantee for MSP, the farmers are also demanding pensions for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, withdrawal of police cases and “justice” for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
In 2020, a large number of farmers from Punjab and nearby areas of Ambala had gathered at the Shambhu border and broke police barriers to march towards Delhi.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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