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Ahead of protest, three Union ministers to meet farm leaders again in Chandigarh

Chandigarh, Feb 12 2024-

Hours ahead of a massive protest march by farmers of Punjab and Haryana in the national capital, three Union ministers, including Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, will be meeting the leaders of farmer organisations in Chandigarh on Monday evening to resolve the issue amicably.

The first round of meeting was held on February 8.

The farmers have been demanding the fulfillment of promises made by the Central government in 2021 that included a legal guarantee for a minimum support price (MSP) on crops, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, farm debt waiver and withdrawal of police cases.

Nearly 200 farm organisations under the banner of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (non-political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha will start a protest march, ‘Delhi Chalo’, on Tuesday.

Besides Goyal, the other Union ministers meeting the farmers are Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda and Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai. In the previous meeting, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann was the mediator.

“As of now we stick to both our plan for the protest march and demands,” said Jagjit Singh Dallewal, who heads a faction of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU).

Meanwhile, with the police build up on almost all national highways and major roads leading from Punjab ahead of the protest march, commuters on Monday had to opt village routes to enter Haryana for their onward journey.

Sufficient security arrangements have been made in Haryana to prevent any untoward incident, a senior police official here told IANS.

The sealing of Punjab-Haryana borders by putting up barricades, boulders, tippers filled with sand and barbed wires and iron spikes, has impacted the movement of vehicular traffic with huge traffic snarls. Even paramilitary forces have been deployed to prevent untoward incidents.

Farmers have planned to enter Haryana from Shambhu border in Patiala, Moonak in Sangrur, Dabwali in Muktsar and Ratia in Mansa. The Haryana Police have sealed all four entry points.

Security has also been beefed up along the Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri borders to stop protest in Delhi. (Agency)

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