India

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann Meets Protesting Farmer Leaders -By ASC


Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has described the farmers ’protests as unwarranted and undesirable.

Chandigarh:

Punjab farmers who protested today said they would meet Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to settle their demands, including bonuses for wheat and start paddy cultivation from June 10.

Farmers leaders said deputy commissioner Mohali and senior police officers invited them to meet the Chief Minister in Chandigarh.

“The deputy commissioner and the SSP came to take us (for the meeting) and the message (for the meeting) was from Chief Minister Sahab,” said chief farmer Baldev Singh Sirsa.

“We will go to the meeting,” he added.

Bharti Kisan (Sidhupur) state union president Jagjit Singh Dallewal said they would demand re -resolution of various farmers ’issues in the meeting.

However, he said farmers’ protests on the Chandigarh-Mohali border would continue. “We will reveal the results of the meeting later.” A total of 36 farmer leaders – who were taken by bus to Punjab Bhawan – will take part in the meeting, a farmer leader said.

Dozens of Punjab farmers protested the government over various demands they spent Tuesday night on the Chandigarh-Mohali road near the YPS chowk in Mohali after they were stopped from marching towards Chandigarh.

The farmers, who owe allegiance to various Punjab farmers ’bodies, were stopped from heading to the state capital on Tuesday to urge the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to meet their various demands.

After being stopped by Mohali Police, the farmers squatted down and parked their vehicles in the middle of the road. They spent the night on Chandigarh-Mohali road near YPS chowk.

The protesting farmers brought rations, beds, fans, coolers, utensils, cooking gas barrels and other items with them.

Farmers have given a say to the government and said if the chief minister does not hold a meeting with them on Wednesday, they will move towards Chandigarh breaking the blockade for holding unrestricted protests.

Chief Minister Mann on Tuesday described the farmers ’protests as“ inappropriate and undesirable ”and had called on farmers’ unions to stop slogans and work hand in hand with the state government to stop Punjab’s dwindling water schedule.

He also said his doors were open for farmers to hold discussions but the “empty slogan” could not break his determination to check for excess water level drop.

A large contingent of police has been stationed on the Chandigarh-Mohali border.

Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu said farmers ’demand for bonuses for wheat was genuine.

“#Farmers’ demand for wheat bonuses is genuine. Has raised this issue since the beginning of the procurement season,” he said in a tweet.

Several farmers ’unions, affiliated with Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), have called for unrestrained protests in Chandigarh over a year-long line of unrest on the Delhi border against three Central farm laws repealed in response to the protests.

Among their various demands, farmers want a bonus of Rs 500 on every quintal of wheat as yields have declined and shrunk due to unprecedented heat wave conditions.

They also opposed the Punjab government’s decision to allow paddy cultivation in stages starting June 18 to reduce electricity load and save groundwater.

The protesters want the government to allow them to plant rice from June 10. They also want notifications issued for minimum support prices for corn, moong and basmati.

Farmers also demanded that the government lower the electricity load extension charge from Rs 4,800 to Rs 1,200, 10-12 hours of power supply and relief of outstanding sugarcane payments. They also oppose the installation of smart electricity meters.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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