Farmers’ Protest: Delhi CM to visit protest site to review facilities

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will visit the Delhi-Haryana border today to review arrangements made for protesting farmers camping there,

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will visit the Delhi-Haryana border today to review arrangements made for protesting farmers camping there, officials said.

Mr Kejriwal will visit the Singhu border along with his cabinet members at 10 am, they said.

The Aam Aadmi Party leader will be the first chief minister of a state to visit a protest venue. Mr Kejriwal is among the several opposition leaders who have extended support for “Bharat bandh”, which has been called for by the thousands of farmers protesting against the centre’s contentious new farm laws.

“The Aam Aadmi Party fully supports the Bharat Bandh call made by farmers on 8 December. AAP workers across the country will support it peacefully. There is an appeal to all countrymen that everyone should support the farmers and participate in it,” Mr Kejriwal had tweeted.

Peaceful protests are underway at both the Singhu and Tikri borders, where farmers had gathered from Punjab and Haryana for more than 10 days. The numbers of farmers at the Ghazipur border swelled,with more joining them from Uttar Pradesh.

Farmers protesting the centre’s new farm laws have agreed to a sixth round of talks – scheduled for Wednesday – after the last meeting yielded no breakthrough on the core issue – repeal of three laws that critics have dubbed “black” and “anti-farmer”.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who was part of the centre’s negotiating team, told the farmers the government needed more time for internal discussions and said a fresh proposal would be tabled at next week’s meeting.

The new laws, aimed at doing away with middlemen and allowing farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country, has deeply upset the farmers. The farmers say it will only result in phasing out of the traditional mandis and the guaranteed minimum price paid by the government, leaving them at the mercy of the corporates.

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