Farmers gathered at Singhu on the Delhi-Haryana border to protest against the centre’s agriculture laws will be given free Wi-Fi, AAP leader Raghav Chadha said on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr Chadha said the Aam Aadmi Party, which governs the national capital region, will install Wi-Fi hotspots to help farmers make video calls and connect with family members back home. The decision has been taken by “sevadar” Arvind Kejriwal, Mr Chadha added, referring to the term the Delhi Chief Minister used to describe himself when he visited the farmers earlier this month.
“A person needs bread, clothes and a house to live a respectable life… but now the internet has also been added to it. We want the farmers to stay in touch with their family,” Mr Chadha said.
“We have identified a few places. The signal will be within 100 metres of the Wi-Fi hotspot,” he added.
Last month the AAP, which has expressed strong support for the farmers and their cause, also made arrangements for basic living facilities, including drinking water, sanitation and medical care, at protest sites around the Delhi border.
Party leaders, including Mr Chadha, have made multiple visits to these sites, and Chief Minister Kejriwal supported the farmers’ call for a “Bharat bandh” and a national hunger strike this month.
Mr Chadha has also hit back at criticism from the BJP, which accused the party was trying to score political brownie points by backing the farmers, saying: “If standing by farmers in this time of crisis… to demand repeal of three black laws… is politics, we are guilty”.
Thousands of farmers from several states, including Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, have been camped out at Singhu (and other places along the Delhi border) for over a month now.
They fought off brutal police action – tear gassing, water cannons and lathi charges – to reach the capital, and have said they will not return unless the farm laws are scrapped.
The centre, however, is equally insistent that the laws will remain and have only offered to amend certain sections, as well as provide a written guarantee on MSP (minimum support price).
Multiple rounds of talks have been held so far to resolve the impasse between the two sides. However, neither side is willing to budge at this point.
Fresh talks have been proposed by the centre and scheduled for 2 pm Wednesday.
With input from PTI
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