Convoys of farmers from different parts of Punjab have started their journey towards Delhi to take part in planned protests outside the Parliament House during the monsoon session, a statement by Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) said on Monday.
“We already announced plans to stage protests during the monsoon session of Parliament starting July 22. Dozens of caravans from different districts including Ludhiana, Sangrur, Mansa, Bathinda, Barnala, Ropar, Fazilka and Faridkot have already started for Singhu and Tikri Borders,” said the umbrella body of over 40 farmers’ unions which are agitating since November 2020 to press for the scrapping of the three new agri laws and seeking a legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their crops.
The SKM also reiterated its intention of sending a warning letter to the opposition parties by July 17 to raise their voice in Parliament for the rights of the farmers.
“Then, every day during the monsoon session of Parliament from July 22 till the end of the session, five members from each farmers’ organisation, totalling at least 200 farmers, will protest outside Parliament,” SKM said.
The SKM also said that protests against the BJP leaders were continuing in Punjab.
“Today, a rally was organised against BJP leader Harjeet Grewal at Dhanola of Barnala district. After gathering at Dhanola’s Dana Mandi, the protesters reached Dhanola Bazaar, chanting slogans for repeal of the Black Farm Laws and enactment of a law guaranteeing MSP,” the statement said. (PTI)
The government, which has been projecting the laws as major agricultural reforms, has offered to bring amendments but has ruled out their scrapping.
The three laws – The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020 – were passed by Parliament in September last year.
Farmer groups have alleged that these laws will end the “mandi” and the MSP procurement systems, and leave the farmers at the mercy of big corporates, even though the government has rejected these apprehensions as misplaced.