A day before the crucial meeting with Union Ministers, farm leaders on Saturday asked the Centre to bring an ordinance on giving a legal guarantee to MSP, while a tractor march and dharnas were held in support of farmers protesting at the borders of Punjab.

Farm leader Sarwan Singh Pandher also said the entire country is looking to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for addressing the farmers' demands and expressed hope that the farmers will get "good news" after the Sunday's meeting with the Centre.

"Now the ball is in the government's court," he said.

Union Ministers Arjun Munda, Piyush Goyal and Nityanand Rai and farmer leaders from Punjab will meet on Sunday for the fourth round of talks.

The two sides met earlier on February 8, 12 and 15, but those talks remained inconclusive.

On the fifth day of their 'Delhi Chalo' march — called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha — the farmers stayed put at the Shambhu and Khanauri points of the Punjab-Haryana border as they press the Centre to accept their demands, including a legal guarantee to minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

Pandher demanded that the Centre should bring an ordinance on giving a legal guarantee to MSP, a key demand of protesting farmers.

Stating that the Centre has a right to take "political" decisions, Pandher said, "If the government wants resolution of farmers' protest, then it should bring an ordinance with an immediate effect that it will enact a law on MSP, then discussion can proceed further."

"It (Centre) can bring the ordinance overnight, if it wants to," he added.

Speaking to reporters at the Shambhu border, Pandher said as far as the issue of modalities is concerned, any ordinance has a six-month validity.

As far as the demand for "C2 plus 50 per cent" as per the Swaminathan Commission's recommendation goes, Pandher said that the government was giving a price according to "A2 plus FL" formula.

"Under the same formula, an ordinance can be brought," he said.

In another media interaction in the evening, Pandher said, "The whole country is looking to the powerful Prime Minister to gather up courage and take a decision on ordinance on legal guarantee to MSP and debt waiver." "We hope that we will get good news from tomorrow's meeting. We have not taken back our programme of going to Delhi. If they (the Centre) accept our demands, then the issue can get resolved. Now the ball is in the government's court," he said.

Farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal, who is spearheading the 'Delhi Chalo' march along with Pandher, also said that the government should bring an ordinance for "giving something to people of the country".

"The government should bring the ordinance with such an intention that it is implemented with immediate effect, and within six months, it can be converted into a law and there is no problem in that," said Dallewal.

The Haryana government on Saturday extended the ban on mobile internet and bulk SMS services in seven districts by two more days till February 19.

Meanwhile, the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Charuni) took out a tractor march in Haryana while BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) held dharnas outside residences of three senior BJP leaders in support of farmers protesting at the borders of Punjab and Haryana.

The Gurnam Singh Charuni-led faction, which is based in Haryana, took out tractor marches at several places including Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar and Sirsa.

Later, talking to the media, Charuni said they fully support the demands raised by the agitating farmers of Punjab.

In Punjab, the BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) held dharnas outside the residences of former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in Patiala, BJP's Punjab unit chief Sunil Jakhar in Abohar and senior party leader Kewal Singh Dhillon in Barnala.

The farmer body also held protests at 21 toll plazas in 13 districts in the state, extending support to the farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' call. The BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) will continue their protests on Sunday also.

In Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar, Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait announced that farmers will stage dharnas in UP, Haryana, Punjab and Uttarakhand on February 21 to press their demands, including a legal guarantee to MSP.

Speaking to reporters in Sisauli, Tikait said a resolution was passed during the meeting asking the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) to launch a tractor march to Delhi in the last week of February if the government does not accept farmers' demands.

In Tamil Nadu, around 100 farmers from different farm associations were arrested at Thanjavur railway station on Saturday when they tried to stage a 'rail roko' protest in front of the Cholan Express. They were protesting the police action against the farmers at Punjab borders.

Meanwhile, around 200 women from various parts of Punjab also reached the Shambhu border.

There was no report of any confrontation between the protesters and the Haryana security personnel on Saturday. The farmer leaders have asked the protesters to maintain calm at the borders.

The farmers from Punjab began their march to Delhi on Tuesday but were stopped by security personnel at the Shambhu and Khanauri points of Punjab's border with Haryana. The protesters have stayed put at the two border points since then.

Besides a legal guarantee for MSP, the farmers are demanding implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, and withdrawal of police cases, among others.

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