Farmers India food
Farmers prepare food during their protest against the farm laws, at Singhu Border in New Delhi on Friday, December 4, 2020. Image Credit: ANI

New Delhi: Farmers’ unions on Friday decided to intensify their agitation against farm laws calling for ‘Bharat Bandh’ (India shutdown) on December 8 and stated that they were not satisfied with amendments being proposed by the government.

Addressing a joint press conference at Singhu Border ahead of the fifth round of talks with the government on Saturday, the leaders said the government should repeal three recently enacted farm laws.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU-Lakhowal) General Secretary HS Lakhowal said: “Yesterday, we told the government that the farm laws should be withdrawn. We have given a call for Bharat Bandh on December 8,” he said.

Hannan Mollah, General Secretary, All India Kisan Sabha, said: “We need to take this protest forward. The government has to take back the farm laws.”

Thousands of farmers have gathered in and around Delhi to protest against the three farm laws.

On Thursday, the farmers held the fourth round of talks with the Centre and said the government had talked of some amendments to farm laws.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had said after the talks that the government has no ego and it was discussing the issues raised by farmers with an open mind.

“The government will discuss points that emerged at the meeting on Friday and hopes that talks will move towards finality when the next round of discussions is held on Saturday,” the minister had said.

The farmers are protesting against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Farmer leader Rajewal complains of dizziness

Prominent farmer leader and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) President Balbir Singh Rajewal, who has been holding talks with the government, complained of dizziness on Friday and was taken to Fortis Hospital in Gurugram for a check-up.

Rajewal, 77, was among a group of more than 34 farmer leaders who put out a five-point set of demands that seeks to frame a specific law on minimum support price (MSP) and end the punishment provision for stubble burning, during the fourth round of talks with the Central government here on Thursday.

“After having his breakfast, Rajewal ji complained of dizziness. We have taken him to Fortis for check-up,” BKU General Secretary Onkar Singh said over phone.

He said after undergoing certain tests, he was declared ‘perfect in health’ and allowed to go back.

“Wishing Bharatiya Kisan Union Leader S. Balbir Singh Rajewal-ji, who is undergoing a check-up in Fortis Hospital, Delhi, a speedy recovery,” Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said in a tweet.

Rajewal was once considered close to the Akalis. He has headed his faction since he broke away from the original outfit in the 1990s.