20 Dec 2020: Farmers threaten to block Delhi-UP Ghazipur border to intensify protest
The farmers, who are camping near Delhi's borders, are looking to intensify their protest, which has entered its 25th day.
The government maintains that it is willing to address the farmers' concerns about the laws, but a complete rollback seems unlikely.
Protest: Why are the farmers protesting?
For months, farmers have protested against the three farm laws passed in September.
The protests intensified in November-end as thousands of farmers from several states reached Delhi, braving a police crackdown.
Farmers fear that by allowing trade outside APMC mandis, the laws will weaken the mandis and they would be deprived of Minimum Support Prices (MSPs), leaving them vulnerable to exploitation by corporations.
Fact: Over 20 protesters have died since agitation began
Over 20 people have died since the protests started. The protesters will on Sunday pay tribute to those deceased. On Monday, the protesters had staged a hunger strike, nearly a week after they had led a nationwide general strike (Bharat Bandh).
Government stance: Government maintains laws will help farmers
The government has maintained that the laws will benefit the farmers, who rejected a government proposal seeking to provide assurances on MSP and other concerns earlier this month.
Ignoring the protests, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday, "Agriculture reforms initiated six months back have started benefitting farmers."
Modi has also repeatedly blamed the Opposition parties for misleading the farmers.
Government stance: Alleging misinformation campaign, Modi urges farmers to read more
On Saturday, Modi had urged farmers to look through booklets available on the NaMo App for information about the new agricultural laws. He has alleged a misinformation campaign against the laws.
A day earlier, he had said, "If anyone has any concerns, then with our heads bowed and our hands folded, with humility, we are willing to discuss with them and assuage their fears."
Protesters: Not linked to any political party, says farmer body
Meanwhile, the protesters have said that they are not associated with any political parties, and have also argued that lakhs of people collectively could not be misinformed as alleged.
In a letter to Modi and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Saturday, the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee—one of the protesting farmer bodies—said they are not linked to any party.
Other developments: Punjab CM slams Centre for oppressive action against middlemen
After 14 Arhityas (farm agents) across Punjab received tax notices, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh slammed the Centre for oppressive action.
On Friday, Tomar had said that the protests may be resolved by the end of this year as the government continues talks with farmer leaders.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court allowed the farmers to protest but withheld them from blocking access to Delhi.