Farmers protests gain momentum, Govt agrees to listen their ‘mann ki baat’, without conditions this time
Farmers protests gain momentum: The ‘Dili chalo’ protest, wherein farmers are protesting at the Delhi-Haryana border, has entered its fifth day today. The protesting farmers refused to budge their demands as per centre’s conditions and emphasised that their demands were ‘non-negotiable’. Farmers want the centre government to roll back farm laws, introduced right before the ending of monsoon session. Among the protesting farmers said that they want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to listen to their ‘mann ki baat’.
The three contested farm laws included – The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation), Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. Once passed in parliament, the move was immediately met with strong opposition and protests all across the country as the legislation was passed without the consent of opposition.
Opposition parties, 32 farmer union groups and former BJP ally, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) slammed the government for passing these ‘black laws’ as they believed that these newly induced legislations favoured big corporations over the country’s vulnerable farmers. PM Modi, during his Varanasi visit on Monday, hit out at the opposition party leaders for promoting chaos and deliberately creating misunderstandings over the new agri-marketing laws.
Modi said, “The farmers are being misled on these historic agriculture reform laws by the same people who for decades have misled them… These same people have in the past played tricks with farmers in the name of MSP, loan waiver and fertiliser subsidy.” He refereed to opposition party but did not take any name.
After SAD, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) is another BJP ally that has threatened to quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) unless the govt scrapped the farm laws. In a tweet addressed to Home Minister Amit Shah, Rajasthan MP and RLP chief Hanuman Beniwal, said, “Mr Amit Shah, in view of the countrywide sentiment in support of the ongoing farmers’ movement, the recently introduced three bills related to agriculture should be immediately withdrawn. (The centre must) implement all recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission, and immediately hold dialogue with farmers in Delhi,”
“RLP is an NDA constituent, but its power comes from farmers and jawans. If prompt action is not taken in this matter, I will have to rethink the issue of being a partner in the NDA in the interest of farmers,” he added.
The ruling BJP party has hinted that it was finally ready to hold talks with the protesting farmers, without conditions. A session of talks is scheduled for December 3. This was decided at the last meeting between the farm union leaders and the Centre, which was held on November 13.