Farmers take out tractor march in Punjab against three farm reform ordinances passed by Centre

Protest in front of houses, offices of SAD-BJP leaders, including Sukhbir and Harsimrat, accusing them of supporting the BJP’s decisions
Farmers taking out a protest march near the house of Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal and Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal in Bathinda on Monday.(Sanjeev Kumar/HT)
Farmers taking out a protest march near the house of Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal and Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal in Bathinda on Monday.(Sanjeev Kumar/HT)
Updated on Jul 27, 2020 11:35 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | ByHT Correspondent

Chandigarh: A dozen farmer organisations took out a tractor march across Punjab on Monday, demanding the repeal of the three ordinances and the Electricity Act brought by the Centre besides a rollback of the fuel price hike.

In a release, All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordinating Committee Punjab convener Darshanpal said that members of 10 organisations, including Bhartiya Kisan Union (Dakonda), Kirti Kisan Union, Krantikari Kisan Union-Punjab, Punjab Kisan Union, Jamhuri Kisan Sabha, Kul Hind Kisan Sabha-Punjab, Kisan Sangharsh Committee Punjab, BKU (Ugrahan) and BKU (Krantikari), took part in the protest.

The farmer leaders said that the three ordinances, namely the Farmer Product Trade and Commerce (Promotions and Assistants) Ordinance 2020, Price Guarantee and Farmer Services (Empowerment and Protection) Ordinance 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) were aimed at handing over procurement of crops to corporate hands.

“Just as these three ordinances pave the way for the marketing of crops to be handed over to corporate houses, the government will abolish the minimum support price,” Darshanpal claimed, rejecting the Centre’s assurances.

The farmers protested outside the residences and offices of Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP MPs and MLAs, including SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, and senior party leaders Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon, Sikandar Singh Maluka and Surjit Singh Rakhra.

The farmer union spokesperson said that Sukhbir was misleading farmers to save the seat of his wife Harsimrat in the Union cabinet. He said that by supporting the decisions of the BJP, the Badals had exposed their anti-Punjab and anti-farmer stand.

The leaders also criticised the Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in Punjab for “saving the Narendra Modi government from the wrath of the farmers by banning rallies under the guise of coronavirus”.

COVID GUIDELINES FLOUTED IN MALWA

BATHINDA: Violating Covid guidelines on social distancing, farmers, including women, held protests in south Malwa on Tuesday. Riding on tractors, several of the protesters, gathered in large numbers, were seen without covering masks.

However, their plan to gheroa the residence and offices of senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Muktsar, Mansa and other districts were foiled by the police. Protesters were stopped near Kheowali village. Organisations took out protests in Bathinda city, with traffic remaining blocked for three hours in Mansa. No police case was lodged till the filing of this report.

1,000 PARTICIPATE IN AMRITSAR

AMRITSAR Around 1,000 farmers on Monday participated in a tractor march to protest against three agriculture-related ordinances introduced by the Central government. The protest, which was jointly organized by Kisan Sangharash Committee (KSC), Revolutionary Marxist Party of India (RMPI), Kirti Kisan Union (KKU), Border Area Sangharsh Committee (BASC), Jamhuri Kisan Sabha (JKS), was initiated from the Company Bagh here, and culminated at the deputy commissioner (DC) office after passing through localities of the city.

According to JKS’s vice president Rattan Singh Randhawa, around 500 tractors had taken part in the march. He claimed they had been burning effigies of the Central government for the last six days over the introduction of “anti-farmer” ordinances.

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