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Explainer of ‘Delhi Chalo’: What the farmers’ protest is about | India News

CHANDIGARH / NEW DELHI: Thousands of farmers have arrived in the national capital in their tractor wagons and other vehicles, responding to the so-called “Delhi Chalo” against the agricultural marketing laws enacted in the Center in September.
On Saturday morning, it was unclear whether they would agree to move to the Burari land on the outskirts of the city, where police said they can continue their protest. Many protesters demanded a better place in central Delhi. Originally, the protest was to be on November 26 and 27.
A look at the protest so far:
Day 1: On Thursday, thousands of farmers crossed from Punjab to Haryana. At the border points, the Haryana police tried to arrest them using water cannons and tear gas. But then they were allowed to pass. There were also skirmishes with the police at other points on the road to Delhi as it passed through Haryana, led by BJP. A large group of protesters camped for the night near Panipat.
Day 2: Protesters gathered on the Delhi border at Tigri and Singhu. Police used tear gas and water cannons to prevent them from breaking through the barricades, which included trucks loaded with sand. In the evening, they offered to let them into the city and continue their protest on the Burari field. But many seemed reluctant.
Day 3: The fighting continued on Saturday morning at the Delhi border. More farmers were heading from Punjab and Haryana.
What farmers fear: Farmers unions in Punjab and Haryana say recent laws enacted at the Center will dismantle the minimum support price (MSP) system. Over time, big corporations will dictate the terms and farmers will end up getting less for their crops, they argue. Farmers fear that with the virtual dissolution of the mandi system, they will not get a guaranteed price for their crops and the “arthiyas”, agents of the commission who also collaborate with loans for them, will be left without work.
Your demands: The key demand is the withdrawal of the three laws that deregulate the sale of their crops. Farmers unions could also settle for a legal guarantee that the MSP system will continue, ideally through an amendment to the laws.
They are also pushing for the 2020 electricity (amendment) bill to be withdrawn, fearing it will lead to the end of subsidized electricity. Farmers say the rules against burning stubble shouldn’t apply to them either.
Key players. Main Players: The so-called “Delhi Chalo” was carried out by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee. Several other organizations, including Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh and factions of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) came out in support.
The march takes place under the banner of Samyukta Kisan Morcha. Participants include Rashtriya Kisan Mahasanghathan, Jai Kisan Andolan, All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha, Krantikari Kisan Union, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda), BKU (Rajewal), BKU (Ekta-Urgahan,) BKU (Chaduni).
Most of the protesters are from Punjab, but there are also a substantial number from Haryana. There has been scattered support for the “Delhi Chalo” protest from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Previous protests: Before “Delhi Chalo”, farmers in Punjab and Haryana held sit-ins and blocked roads in sporadic protests. Punjab farmers’ unions then announced a “rail roko” upheaval, which lasted about two months, leading to suspension of trains to the state and shortages in critical areas, including coal for power plants.
At one point, the unions relaxed agitation to allow the passage of freight trains, but the Railways insisted that they would operate freight and passenger trains or neither.
The contentious laws The Trade in Agricultural Products and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) Act of 2020, the Farmers’ Agricultural Price and Services Guarantee Agreement (Empowerment and Protection) of 2020 and the Essential Products (Amendment) Act of 2020 .
The Punjab Assembly, with a majority in Congress, reacted to these core laws by passing bills intended to “negate” their effect on the state. However, Punjab bills are still awaiting approval from the state governor.
What the Center Says The Narendra Modi government says the new laws will give farmers more options to sell their crops and get better prices. He has assured that there is no movement to end the MSP system, and the new laws do not refer to him.
Before the Delhi Chalo turmoil began, the Center had invited representatives from more than 30 farmers’ unions to a meeting with the Union Minister of Agriculture, Narendra Singh Tomar, on December 3. An earlier meeting on November 15 had not been conclusive.

Times of India

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