Stir against farm laws: Now, farmers mobilising migrant workers against Centre’s agri laws
Sangrur Tubewells and paddy fields in the district have emerged as new hotspots for political mobilisation. With elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh just a few months away, farmers have started mobilising migrant workers against the three agriculture laws implemented by the BJP-led central government.
Avtar Singh, a farmer from Bhullerheri village, and associated with Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) Rajewal said, “In our meetings with migrant workers, we discuss new agricultural laws. We try to convince them that the black laws will leave them jobless.”
“The BJP made anti-farmer laws. These laws, however, are equally dangerous for migrant workers who are dependent on the agriculture sector. When big corporates will start farming in Punjab, they will use machines. High-level technology will replace labourers and the labour class will face unemployment. We have appealed to migrants hailing from UP that they should oppose BJP’s policies and not vote for this party,” Avtar added.
Sangrur block chief of BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) Gobinder Singh said, “The BJP is introducing anti-farmer and anti-labour policies. We will hold meetings with migrants at tubewells and ask them to oppose the saffron party.”
Migrant workers had returned to their native states last month, when the covid-19 was its peak in the second wave of the disease. They returned to Punjab, in huge numbers, before June 10 in search of jobs. Their presence has enabled farmers to avoid confrontation with local Punjabi labour over wages.
Ramadhin, 32, a migrant from UP, said he has been coming to Punjab for the past 10 years, adding, “We are landless. A labourer can’t run his business, he is dependent on farmers. If farmers lose their land, where will we work?” Another migrant Sudhir, 27, said, “Farmers are telling us that the new laws will take away their land, which will also affect our jobs with them.”