Farmers Protest Day 6: 'Delhi Chalo' March Put On Hold After Talks With Govt | Key Updates

Farmers on Sunday announced that they are putting their 'Delhi Chalo' march on hold till February 21 after holding talks with the government.

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Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher | Photo: Getty Images

The ‘Delhi Chalo’ march has been put on hold, farmers announced on Sunday after their meeting with the Union government. They said that the march will resume at 11 am on February 21 if all the issues are not resolved.

On February 13, farmers began their 'Delhi Chalo' march; however, at the border crossings of Punjab and Haryana at Shambhu and Khanauri, security personnel stopped them. Since then, the farmers have continued to gather at the two border crossings.

Why Are Farmers Protesting? 

Farmers’ march to Delhi, called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, is to press the government to accept their demands, including a legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

Besides a legal guarantee of MSP, the farmers are demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases and "justice" for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, and compensation to the families of the farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020-21.

Farmers' Protest Day 6 | Latest Updates

  • Protest Put On Hold: Farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal said discussions on issues like a law on MSP, the Swaminathan Commission recommendations and loan waivers were held on Sunday during the talks with the government, adding that the protest has been put on hold till February 21.

    A panel of three Union ministers on Sunday proposed the buying of pulses, maize, and cotton crops by government agencies at minimum support prices for five years after entering into an agreement with farmers, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said.

    On the Centre's proposal, farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said, "We will discuss in our forums on February 19-20 and take the opinion of experts regarding it and accordingly take a decision."

    A discussion on loan waivers and other demands is pending and we hope that these will be resolved in the next two days, Pandher said, adding that the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march is currently on hold, but will resume at 11 am on February 21 if all the issues are not resolved.

  • Farmers Demand Ordinance On MSP: Ahead of the upcoming talks, Punjab farm union leaders on Saturday said that the government should bring an ordinance to provide minimum support price (MSP) guarantee to the farmers. 

Sarvan Singh Pandher, general secretary of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, told reporters at the Shambhu border: “If the government wants, it can bring an ordinance overnight. If it wants a resolution to the farmers’ protest, then it should bring an ordinance.”

Jagjit Singh Dallewal, leader of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Sidhupur), consented to Pandher and reiterated the demand for an ordinance.

“When the government wants to bring an ordinance, it does. Why can’t they do it now?” Dallewal said, adding that it can be converted into legislation within six months.

  • More Demonstrations Planned: The farmers' protests have gained support from various farmer unions across the country, including the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Charuni) and BKU leader Rakesh Tikait, who have announced plans for further demonstrations and a potential tractor march to Delhi if their demands are not addressed.

  • Haryana Extends Internet Shutdown: In response to the protests, the Haryana government has extended the ban on mobile internet and bulk SMS services in seven districts until February 19 to maintain public order. 

The affected districts include Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad, and Sirsa. However, voice calls and individual short messaging text services remain operational.

  •  Vegetable Prices Can Rise: Disruptions caused by the farmers' protests are impacting supply chains and may lead to a rise in vegetable prices in Delhi. 

As per news agency ANI, a trader at Ghazipur Mandi reported a Rs 4 increase in carrot prices over the past 15 days due to supply issues from Punjab. Further disruptions could lead to price hikes for other vegetables as well.

  • Internet services suspended in certain areas of Punjab till February 24:

The suspension of internet services has been extended in certain areas of some Punjab districts, including Patiala, Sangrur and Fatehgarh Sahib, till February 24 on the orders of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

Earlier, the internet services were suspended from February 12 till 16 in view of the farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' march.

The internet services will remain suspended in areas falling under Shambhu, Julkan, Passian, Patran, Shatrana, Samana, Ghanaur, Devigarh and Balbhera police stations in Patiala; Lalru police station in Mohali; Sangat police station in Bathinda; Killianwali police station in Muktsar; Sardulgarh and Boha police stations in Mansa; and Khanauri, Moonak, Lehra, Sunam and Chajli police stations in Sangrur; and areas under Fatehgarh Sahib police station.

The Centre used its special powers under the Telegraph Act of 1885 to suspend internet services in these areas of Punjab.