India

Centre Defaming Farm Laws Protest, That Won’t Dissipate It: Farmers’ Body

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Thousands of farmers have been camping at Delhi’s border points protesting the Centre’s agri laws (File).

New Delhi:

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Friday accused the Union government of “defaming” the farmers’ stir against the contentious farm laws and said the long-drawn agitation would not dissipate as being “hoped” by the BJP dispensation.

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The SKM, an umbrella body of 40 farmer unions, claimed that several state governments are standing firmly with the agitation and that more farmers have reached the protest sites on the Delhi border to join the movement.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at Delhi’s border points for over six months now protesting the three agri laws and demanding a new law be made guaranteeing minimum support price (MSP).

“Every opportunity is being desperately seized upon to slander the protestors. However, their failed strategy is bound to fail again,” the SKM said.

“What the farmers are asking for is that their fundamental right to livelihood is protected. In a democracy, it is expected the government would accept their legitimate demands. Instead, the BJP dispensation is unnecessarily prolonging the agitation, defaming it and hoping it will just dissipate. That is not going to happen,” it said in a statement.

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The SKM claimed that many BJP leaders have been asking the Union government to resolve the farmers’ issues.

“In a recent memorandum from Tamil Nadu chief minister (MK Stalin) to the prime minister (Narendra Modi), the issue of repeal of three farm laws was raised. Maharashtra is reportedly in the process of amending its law to neutralise the ill effects of the central legislations on its farmers,” it said.

“West Bengal CM (Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) has been asking that the protesting farmers’ demands be met. Governments led by other parties in a few other states have stood with the farmers’ movement and joined their calls for a countrywide action,” the SKM added.

It claimed that hundreds of farmers from Jaspur in Uttarakhand reached the Ghazipur Border Thursday and a large contingent, led by Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) (Tikait), reached the Ghazipur border on Friday after walking for five days.

Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

The protesting farmers, on the other hand, have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and do away with the “mandi” (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

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(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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