Indian farmers to step up protests after rejecting offer to defer controversial new laws

NEW DELHI: Indian farmers on Friday rejected an offer by the government to defer three farm reform laws for one-and-half years, warning they would step up protests as they seek a repeal of the laws and a guarantee on minimum crop prices.

Farm leaders said hundreds of thousands of farmers from neighbouring states including Haryana, Punjab and western Uttar Pradesh would drive tractors through New Delhi on January 26, the Republic Day national holiday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join a parade of military forces.

Although some former government officials have expressed concern that the protests could turn violent, the leaders said they would remain peaceful and urged the police to grant permission for the convoy to enter the capital. - AFP