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Opposition parties back call for national protest day on May 26

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 23, 2021

The 10 Central Trade Unions have also decided to support the protests

The Opposition parties have decided to support the call given by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) to observe a countrywide protest day on May 26, marking the completion of six months of the farmers’ protests demanding the Centre to repeal three farm laws.

12 Opposition parties had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding that the three farm laws should be repealed to protect farmers who are becoming victims of the pandemic. “We demand the immediate repeal of the farm laws and the legal entitlement to the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of C2+50 per cent as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission,” said the leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, HD Deve Gowda, MK Stalin, Sitaram Yechury, Mamata Banerjee and Uddhav Thackeray, in the joint statement. “The Central Government must stop being obdurate and immediately resume talks with the SKM on these lines,” they demanded.

The 10 Central Trade Unions have also decided to support the protests on May 26. “The government is passing laws that nobody has demanded, be it Farm Laws, Labour Codes, CAA, New Education Policy, pursuing blanket privatisation policy and so on, while refusing to concede any popular demands such as enactment of a law guaranteeing Minimum Support Price for the Farm Produce, bringing petrol/diesel under the GST regime, etc,” the trade unions said in a recent statement.

In a letter to Modi, the SKM had demanded that discussions should resume to address the pressing demands of protesting farmers and other rural citizens. “Any democratic government would have repealed the three laws that have been rejected by the farmers in whose name these were enacted and seized this opportunity to provide legal guarantee of minimum support price to all farmers.

Instead, your government chose to turn this into a prestige point and refused to budge. Worse, your government has shut the doors for any dialogue since 22nd January 2021, even when you claimed the opposite. We have so far lost more than 470 colleagues in this movement due to this obstinacy on the part of your government,” the letter said.

Published on May 23, 2021

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