Farmers of Punjab have decided to suspend the ‘Rail Roko’ (Stop the Trains) agitation for 15 days following talks with the chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh. Thus, train services would be fully restored in the state from Monday after about two months.
However, they have threatened to re-start their agitation if the Union government does not repeal the three farm laws enacted in September last.
The farmers first sat on track way back in the last week of September. Initially they stopped all trains—passengers and goods.
But later they softened their stand and left the track to allow goods trains. But the Centre took the stand that it would restore the train services when both freight and passenger trains are allowed to pass. According to the Punjab government the state has suffered a loss of Rs 40,000 crore. The traders of the state were hit hard by the rail blockade.
The chief minister said that he would soon meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to put up the demands of the farmers. He thanked the farmers for suspending the agitation.
However, the farmers have clarified that they are not going to put off their ‘Delhi Chalo’ (Delhi March) campaign. It needs to be recalled that all the important trade union bodies and farmers’ unions from across the country have given a call to gather in Delhi on November 26 and 27 to protest against the recent enactment of laws which, according to them, would have a negative impact on farmers and workers.
It needs to be mentioned that Shiromani Akali Dal minister in the Union cabinet had resigned on September 17 and the party pulled out of the National Democratic Alliance in protest against the enactment of three farm laws.