Farmers firm on demands ahead of talks with centre

Farmers protesting at Delhi borders firm on demands ahead of talks with Centre

The farmers protesting against the new agri laws had reached Singhu border over a month ago

Protesting farmers listen to their leaders as they continue to demonstrate against the central government's recent agricultural reforms while blocking a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border in Singhu on December 30. Credit: AFP Photo

Thousands of farmers agitating against the three new central agriculture laws stayed put at their agitation venues near Delhi, which is going through a harsh spell of winter, unrelenting in their demand of withdrawal of the farm laws.

On Wednesday, a cold wave swept Delhi as the minimum temperature dipped to 3.5 degrees Celsius. It is likely to get even colder on New Year's Eve, the India Meteorological Department predicted, as dry and icy winds barrelled through the plains.

The farmers protesting against the new agri laws had reached Singhu border over a month ago.

The Centre and the protesting farmer unions will resume stalled talks on Wednesday with the latter sticking to their hardline position that the parleys will only be on the modalities of repealing the three new agri laws and giving a legal guarantee on the MSP among other issues.

Farmers' protest live updates on DH

Security remained tight at the Delhi borders with hundreds of personnel deployed at Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri border points where the farmers have been camping.

Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the central government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middleman and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of MSP and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

The government has repeatedly asserted that the MSP and mandi systems will stay and has accused the Opposition of misleading the farmers.