Twin protests in Uttarakhand on Monday over farm bills and labour issues

BJP has accused the Congress of misleading the farmers into staging protests.
Uttarakhand Congress state head Pritam Singh will lead the protest against the farm bills on Monday.(HT Photo)
Uttarakhand Congress state head Pritam Singh will lead the protest against the farm bills on Monday.(HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 27, 2020 04:47 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Dehradun | ByHT Correspondent | Edited by Abhinav Sahay

Amid the widespread protests by farmers against the recently passed agriculture bills in the Parliament, the Opposition Congress will hold a protest march towards the governor house on Monday.

The march to be led by state unit president Pritam Singh has been organised on the call of the national leadership.

Singh, while lashing out at the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, said, “The bills passed in the Parliament by sidelining all the parliamentary procedures have just exposed the anti-farmer face of PM Modi.”

“With those anti-farmer bills, PM Modi’s eyes are now on the crops grown by the farmers with their sweat and blood. He now wants to hand over them to capitalists in the country,” said Singh.

He accused the government of “caging crores of farmers in the hands of a few capitalists for which the government is working”.

Meanwhile, the labour unions in the state are also up in arms against the Centre and state government over the decisions pertaining to labour reforms, taken in the last few days. Many unions have planned protests on Monday, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh.

Dinesh Tiwari, president of state industrial development corporation of Uttarakhand limited (SIDCUL) and labour sanyukt morcha, a labour rights body in US Nagar district, said that they will hold a protest on Monday.

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“The governments at both the Centre and the state have taken decisions against the labourers amidst the ongoing pandemic. On the pretext of ease of doing business and boosting the economy, they have taken decisions which are completely against labourers,” said Tiwari.

“On Monday, members of the labour union which includes 65 other small labour unions in the state will take a pledge to protest against these anti-labour moves. We won’t sit idle, and raise our voice,” he said.

Secretary, centre of Indian trade union (CITU) Uttarakhand, Lekhraj (only uses first name) too, lashed out at the BJP led governments and said, “They are working for the capitalists by strangling the labourers and marginalised class.”

“We are making a strategy to soon hold a large scale state-wide protest against the government over the labour issues,” he said.

Also Read: Pullout won’t help SAD in state polls: Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa

The BJP however, termed the Congress’s decision to hold a protest march as a mere political gimmick.

“They are just misleading the farmers and provoking them to protest. They never thought of working for the welfare of the farmers and now when our government is working for them, they can’t tolerate it and are misleading the farmers with such protests and marches,” said BJP state vice-president Devendra Bhasin.

On the protests planned by labour unions on the labour reform decisions, he said, “The decisions taken by the state and Central governments in that regard is to end the exploitation of labourers which was going on for the last 70 years.”

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