Farmers to intensify agitation, nation-wide hartal on Dec 8

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 04, 2020

Farmers protesting at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border at Ghazipur in Delhi on Friday | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

‘We are fundamentally against the farm laws which are anti-farmer and pro-corporate’

In no mood to relent, top leaders of Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which met here on Friday, decided to stick to their demand for the repealing of the farm reform Acts during the next round of talks with the ministerial committee on Saturday and intensify their stir further by observing a nation-wide hartal   on December 8.

Moreover, there are chances of major national highways connecting Delhi to Agra and Jaipur getting clogged in coming days with the leaders — representing 500 farmer groups — appealing to farmers in neighbouring Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to join the protest in large numbers.

“In addition to farmers, all like-minded organisations, including trade unions, students, youth and women groups will participate in the hartal ,” said Ashok Dhawale, President of All India Kisan Sabha, which is actively involved in the ongoing protest.

Besides, on Saturday, farmers at more than 5,000 places across the country will burn the effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani, who the farmers believe are the major beneficiaries of these ‘pro-corporate’ agricultural reforms.

‘Anti-farmer laws’

“The government must bend. What they are talking about are only piecemeal changes. We are fundamentally against the laws themselves because the whole direction of the laws is anti-farmer and pro-corporate. Some tinkering here and there are not going to help. This was the unanimous decision of the farmer organisations,” said Dhawale, who was the chief architect of the Nashik-Mumbai Long March two years ago, which saw over 50,000 farmers marching to the heart of Mumbai. Following the fourth rounds of talks with representatives of the protesting farmers on Thursday, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the government would be willing to reconsider some provisions of the new farm laws such as introducing tax at private mandis as well as insisting on proper licence for trading with farmers, as is the case with traders in existing mandis. The government was also under pressure from many Opposition parties and some allies to amicably settle the farmer protests.

Essentials supply in Delhi

Meanwhile, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said it was making all the efforts to ensure that the capital city will not run out supplies including essential goods. CAIT said it has an assurance from All India Transport Welfare Association that the supplies to Delhi will be maintained as smoothly as possible.

Published on December 04, 2020
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