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Cranes, earthmovers in tow, farmers all set for ‘Dilli Chalo’ protest march today

Ask Centre to convene special session of Parliament to adopt MSP for crops

2024 2largeimg 1277967818Shambhu : A day ahead of the proposed “Dilli Chalo” announced by farmer unions, tempers ran high at the Shambhu barrier and the situation was on the boil with farm union members and the Haryana police locked in a bitter face-off, metres away from each other, at the Punjab-Haryana border.

Farmer leaders today urged the Centre to convene a special session of Parliament to legally adopt the minimum support price (MSP) for crops even as the protesters brought modified heavy machinery, including hydraulic cranes and earthmovers, to the border this evening.

“The government can call a special session of Parliament to bring a legislation on the MSP. We appeal to all political parties to clear their stand on whether they will back such a legislation. We have rejected the Centre’s proposal and are proceeding to Delhi at 11 am tomorrow, and that is final,” said Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher. “Our protest towards Delhi will be peaceful and Haryana should not use force to curb it,” Pandher said. He said the government should waive the debt of farmers. “The Centre has held four meetings with us and not a single demand has been accepted till date. Without delay, the Swaminathan Commission report should be implemented,” he said.

Thousands of farmers on tractor-trailers are camping at the Shambhu barrier even as heavy machinery, including hydraulic cranes and earthmovers, reached the site. “Last week, the Haryana Police fired tear gas shells from behind concrete slabs and barricades put up by them. Tomorrow, when the march starts, we will uproot every slab and barrier,” said one of the farmers.

Late in the evening, farmers brought huge fans atop tractors to be used to “blow away tear gas smoke back towards the Haryana Police”.

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