As farmers continue to protest against the three contentious agrarian laws, the Kisan Unions have called for Bharat Bandh on December 8. The farmers’ bodies have also stated that they will burn effigies of PM Modi on December 5 as a part of the protests. The Kisan Unions have claimed that they are not satisfied with the amendments that have been proposed by the government and called for repealing of the farm laws. Earlier, on December 3, the meeting concluded without any significant progress.
Speaking at a joint press conference at Singhu Border, Bharatiya Kisan Union General Secretary HS Lakhowal said, “Yesterday, we told the Government that the farm laws should be withdrawn. On December 5, effigies of PM Modi will be burnt across the country. We have given a call for Bharat Bandh on December 8.”
Adding to it, General Secretary of All India Kisan Sabha Hannan Mollah said, “We need to take this protest forward. Government has to take back the farm laws.”
“Government has no ego”
After the conclusion of the fourth round of talks between the Centre and the farmers’ unions on Thursday, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar revealed that the discussion took place in a good atmosphere while informing that the next round is scheduled for 2 pm on December 5.
He added that the Union government is willing to discuss the unions’ objections pertaining to points such as strengthening the APMC, regulating the private Mandis, dispute resolution and apprehensions about MSP. Asserting that they will reach a final outcome after the 5th round of talks, Tomar again appealed to the farmers to halt the protest owing to the risk of COVID-19 outbreak as well as the prevailing winter.
“Some common points have been drawn from the earlier meetings and this meeting on which farmer unions are concerned about. From the beginning, we are saying that the Indian government is committed to the welfare of the farmers and will continue to do so in the future. The government does not have an ego. The government was discussing every issue with the farm unions with an open mind. Farmer unions and farmers are concerned that the new Act will lead to the abolition of APMC. The Indian government will think about strengthening the APMC and increasing utility. In the new Act, there is a provision for private mandis. We will think about ensuring that the farmers get the same price in APMCs and private Mandis,” said the Union Agriculture Minister.
The farmers are protesting against the three farm laws: the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, that came into force in September 2020. Since then the farmers and farmers’ unions across the country have taken to streets to protest the farm laws, which have been called a long-overdue reform in the agriculture sector by the PM Modi-led government.
For the tenth day in a row now, Farm unions along with thousands of farmers have gathered in and around Delhi demanding the repealing of the laws. Earlier, while addressing the press conference, unions reiterated that little headway has been made into the discussion with Centre, adding that the Unions will not cede and will continue to hold protests.
The Unions have also called for farmers from across the country to join the protests in their respective states adding that protest sites have been formed in various states. This comes as the 5th round of talks between the Centre and Farmers is set to take place on Saturday which will be attended by Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and MoS Commerce Som Parkash along with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
Source: Republic World