Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Sunday warned the Centre of converting the government offices into “grain markets” if it forcibly evicts the farmers from the protest site where they have been agitating against the three contentious farm laws for the past 11 months.
The warning came two days after the Delhi Police removed all the barricades from the Tikri and Ghazipur borders for the smooth movement of traffic.
However, the farmers see it as a “move” to displace them.
“If the farmers fail to sell their produce in mandis at a fair price, then, what better place to do so than the government offices?” Tikait said. He demanded that the Centre engage in dialogue with them and repeal the farm laws.
Earlier, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha had released a statement asserting that before opening all the roads, the Centre will have to open the avenues to fulfill their demands.
Whether the agitation continues or shifts to the national capital is a collective decision to be taken at an appropriate time, he asserted.
Though the Government and the agitating farmers have met 11 times on the negotiating table, the talks remained inconclusive.
The Supreme Court, in its ruling last week, had held that though the farmers have all the freedom to protest, they cannot “block” the roads causing inconvenience to the public.
Since November last year, farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh have been demanding that the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, be rolled back and a new law made to guarantee minimum support price for crops.
They fear the three contentious farm laws would do away with the Minimum Support Price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations, concerns dismissed by the union government.