Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said he will fast along with farmers on Monday to protest the centre’s new agricultural laws that have triggered a massive demonstration since last month on the outskirts of the capital.
Thousands of farmers have been camping on the outskirts of Delhi since late November demanding the government repeal the laws that they say will eventually dismantle the country’s regulated markets and leave them at the mercy of private buyers.
The government has tried to engage leaders of the farmers’ organisations with even Union Home Minister Amit Shah stepping in for talks, offering changes to the laws and written assurances, but the demonstrators have held their ground.
The protesters, who braved a brutal police crackdown last month in BJP-ruled Haryana before being allowed into Delhi, have threatened to intensify their demonstrations by blocking national highways and and holding a nationwide hunger strike on Monday.
Voted through parliament in September with little debate, the laws only give an additional option to farmers to sell their produce, the government argues, but small farmers fear that once big corporate players enter the market, they will lose guarantees on prices.