Representatives of the farmers’ organisations which are having a crucial meeting with the government, refused to break bread with the three participating Union ministers today. At the lunch break, farmers said “no” to the food offered by the government and stuck to the langar, which was brought in by a waiting van.
Visuals from inside Vigyan Bhawan, where the meeting is being held, showed the farmers’ representatives assembled at a long table for a hurried lunch. Some sat on the ground in a quiet corner.
“They offered us food, we denied and are having our langar, which we have brought with us,” a farmer leader said. “We are not accepting food or tea offered by the government,” another farmer leader said.
The farmers, who have been waiting at the borders of the national capital for eight days, gave a presentation in the first half half of the meeting. In it, they had focused on the inadequacies of the law and why they are apprehensive about it, sources said.
Key routes connecting UP-Delhi closed
As the crowd of farmers continued to swell around the Delhi’s borders, the police Thursday closed routes on two national highways connecting Ghaziabad to Delhi.
“The local police have closed the routes on NH-9 and NH-24 from Ghaziabad to Delhi. On NH-1, both sides of the route have been closed near Shani Mandir,” the Delhi Traffic Police tweeted.
The crowd of farmers continued to swell at Ghazipur, prompting the police to close the Delhi-UP border on NH-24. It said NH-44 is closed on both sides and asked people to take alternate routes via NH-8, Bhopra, Apsara border, and Peripheral expressway
At the Chilla border, one carriageway — from Delhi to Noida — has been opened for traffic. However, the other carriageway — from Noida to Delhi — is still closed. People commuting from Noida to Delhi are advised to avoid Noida link road, the traffic police said.
The Bundelkhand Kisan Union on Thursday supported farmers’ demand for convening a special session of Parliament to repeal the Centre’s three farm laws and warned the government of intensifying their stir. “The three laws passed by the Union government are anti-farmers. They will not help farmers in any way and will only force them to commit suicide,” said BKU national president Vimal Kumar. “The government should immediately convene a special session of the Parliament and withdraw all the three controversial laws and set up a “Krishi Ayog” consisting only of agriculture scientists and farmers,” Sharma said. He said about 500 farmers of the Bundelkhand region are starting form the GIC ground here to Delhi later on Thursday.