Eastern Times: December 4, 2020, New Delhi: Hardening their stand on Friday, farmers protesting against the three newly-enacted farm laws have called out for a Bharat Bandh on December 8. The protesting farmers have so far held four rounds of talks with the government, but the impasse has not ended and the borders of Delhi, where the protest is going on, are chocked. Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have gathered at Delhi’s borders in protest.
“Yesterday, we told the government that the farm laws should be withdrawn. On December 5, effigies of PM Modi will be burnt across the country. We have given a call for Bharat Bandh on December 8,” said H S Lokwal, general secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU-Lakhowal).
“We need to take this protest forward. The government has to take back the farm laws,” said Hannan Mollah, general secretary of the All India Kisan Sabha.
The farmers are protesting against The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
BKU leader Rakesh Tikait earlier said the farmers are hoping that the government will meet their demands during the fifth round of talks scheduled on December 5, failing which they will continue their protests against the new farm laws.
“The government and the farmers did not reach any decision during the meeting held on Thursday. The government wants to make amendments to the three laws, but we want the laws to be completely repealed.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 find out what happens in Saturday’s meeting,” Tikait told the media.
The government had invited the farm leaders for fourth round of talks on Thursday, which remained inconclusive. They are scheduled to meet on Saturday again.
The farmer community is apprehensive that the new laws are “anti-farmer,” and would pave the way for dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporations.
However, the government has maintained that the laws will help farmers with better opportunities new technologies in agriculture.