Farmers call for Bharat Bandh on December 8, demand immediate withdrawal of farm laws
Farmers protesting the three recently enacted farm laws have hardened their stance, announcing a call to Bharat Bandh on December 8. So far, farmers have held four rounds of talks with the government, but the stalemate has not ended and the borders of Delhi, where the protest is taking place, is choked. The protests were launched by farmers from Haryana and Punjab, but those from Uttar Pradesh joined later.
“Yesterday we told the government that the agricultural laws should be repealed. On December 5, effigies of PM Modi will be burned across the country. We have made a call for Bharat Bandh on December 8, “said HS Lokwal, General Secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU-Lakhowal).
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, have protested on the borders of the national capital demanding that the bills passed by Parliament in September be withdrawn.
“We need to carry out this protest. The government has to withdraw the agricultural laws, ”said Hannan Mollah, Secretary General of All India Kisan Sabha.
Farmers protest against the Agricultural Products Trade and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) Act of 2020, the Farmers’ Agreement (Empowerment and Protection) on Price Guarantee and the Agricultural Services Act of 2020 and the Essential Products Act (Amendment ) of 2020.
Earlier, the leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Rakesh Tikait, said that farmers expect the government to comply with their demands during the fifth round of talks scheduled for December 5, otherwise they will continue their protests against the new agricultural laws.
“The government and the farmers did not reach any decisions during the meeting on Thursday. The government wants to make amendments to all three laws, but we want the laws to be completely repealed. “If the government does not agree to our demands, we will continue to protest. We are looking to know what happens at the meeting on Saturday, ”Tikait told the PTI news agency.
The government had invited agricultural leaders to the fourth round of talks on Thursday, but the result remains inconclusive. The two sides are scheduled to meet again on Saturday.
The farming community has expressed its apprehension that the new laws are “anti-farmer” and would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of large corporations. However, the government has argued that the new laws will provide farmers with better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.