Farmers held demonstrations on Delhi borders and other parts of the country on Friday to mark one year of the farmers’ protest against the Centre’s farm laws.
Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the three controversial farm laws would be rolled back. The farmer unions welcomed the move but have said that they would not end their protest till the laws are formally repealed and other demands are met.
With the protest showing no signs of retreat, even after the Centre announced that the three laws would be repealed, farmers are holding several events and protests across the country on Friday.
The protest began with the “Dilli Chalo” programme on November 26 last year. Since then, thousands of farmers have gathered at the borders of the capital New Delhi, in one of the biggest challenges for PM Modi since he came to power in 2014. The rollback of the laws comes just ahead of critical elections in states like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
Here are the Highlights on Farmers Protest:
Hundreds of farmers in tractors started arriving at Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border as Friday marked one year of the ongoing farmers’ protest against the central laws.
Many of them brought along vegetables, sacks of flour and lentils, spices and cooking oil on their tractor-trollies, saying they have come prepared for a long haul.
Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), an influential farmers’ union from western Uttar Pradesh, has been leading the charge at the Ghazipur border since November last year.
The BKU is part of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), a farmers’ collective, which is spearheading the protest for withdrawal of three contentious farm laws and for legal guarantee on minimum support price (MSP) of crops.
As the farmers’ protest completes a year, the Delhi Traffic Police on Friday asked commuters travelling from Ghaziabad towards Delhi to take alternative routes, anticipating traffic gridlock owing to its security arrangements.
Commuters have been advised to take Vikash Marg or GT Road to reach Delhi, police said.
“Traffic coming from Ghaziabad towards Delhi side remains heavy due to barricading by local police at roundabout Gazipur Underpass. Commuters are advised to take alternative Vikash Marg/GT Road to Delhi,” the Delhi Traffic Police tweeted.
As farmers mark one year of protest against the Centre’s three farm laws, the President of All India Kisan Sabha Ashok Dhawale on Friday said the protest will continue till demands are fulfilled by the Centre.
While speaking to ANI, Dhawale said, “Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmer unions, has organised protests in different states to mark the first anniversary of the farmers” movement. The winter session of the Parliament will commence from November 29, the Centre should take actions on Minimum Support (MSP).”
Rashtriya Janata Dal national president Lalu Prasad Yadav on Wednesday said the decision to repeal the three farm laws was the Centre’s defeat and the crushing of its arrogance.
Addressing an event organised by the party “6 Tone Lalten,” Mr Yadav said, “I congratulate the farmers of the country who struggled for so long and died for the cause. Today they have won and the Central government has lost. Arrogance has been crushed. Until the government declares a guarantee on MSP, the protest will not stop. The labourers will also benefit from this.”
The farmers’ agitation will continue till their demands, including a legal guarantee for Minimum Sellig Price for the crops, are fulfilled and also until the Centre holds parleys with them, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said.
Mr Tikait said that the government announced repealing of the three farm laws, but it will not solve the issues. There are several issues of farmers that need to be resolved.
“The farmers’ protest will continue till the central government resumes talks on their demands, including Minimum Support Price (MSP) guarantee law,” Mr Tikait said.
The movement of farmers with several demands will complete a year today with protesters in large numbers gathering at Delhi’s borders to mark the occasion.
Security arrangements have been tightened at various border points of the national capital, the Delhi Police on Thursday said.
A number of events have been planned across the country to mark the completion of a year of the movement.
The farmers have been camping at three border points of Delhi – Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur – for the last year. The movement against three new farm laws of the Centre began with a “Dilli Chalo” programme on November 26-27 last year.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government is likely to move a resolution during Delhi Assembly’s special session on Friday for repeal of the Centre’s three new farm laws, compensation to families of over 700 farmers who died during protests and legal guarantee of minimum support price for crops, sources said.
It will also demand withdrawal of cases registered against the farmers during the protest against the farm laws, and the removal and arrest of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra in connection with the Lakhimpur incident, they said.
According to the sources, Delhi Development Minister Gopal Rai will move the resolution.
Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Thursday said that they wrote a letter to the Centre recently and alleged that the government does not want to talk about the Minimum Support Price (MSP) as it will benefit farmers throughout the country.
Addressing a press conference in Hyderabad, Mr Tikait said, “We wrote a letter to the Centre a few days ago but have not received any answer yet. They do not want to talk about the MSP because it will benefit the farmers throughout the whole country.”