Arvind Kejriwal says will fast in support of farmers tomorrow, urges AAP workers to do the same
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kerjiwal on Sunday said he will hold one-day fast on Monday in support of farmers protesting the three farm laws and also urged the workers and supporters of his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to join him.
Kejriwal also asked the central government to roll back the three contentious farm laws which were implemented by the Centre in September, and demanded a new bill to ensure minimum support prices (MSP) for farmers – currently a policy issue – be drafted and tabled.
“I request all party (AAP) supporters and people across the country to observe fast for a day tomorrow (Monday) in solidarity with protesting farmers. I shall be observing a day’s fast too… Let’s support our farmers from our homes. I understand that it is not possible for many of us to be physically present in the (state) border points where the protesting farmer groups have gathered,” the chief minister said in a video press briefing on Monday.
Watch | Kejriwal to fast with farmers in support, urges centre ‘shun arrogance’
On the people being called “anti-national” for supporting the protesting farmers, Kejriwal reminded of 2011 Anna Hazare-led movement against corruption, saying that Congress then had done a similar thing to disregard the movement. “In the last few days, I have seen several ministers and BJP leaders calling the protesting farmers anti-national. I have a question for them: So many ex-servicemen, sportspersons, artistes, doctors, lawyers, businessmen have been supporting the protests in some way or other – are they all anti-national? During the Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption movement in 2011, the Congress had done similar things to bring disrepute to the movement. The BJP is doing the same thing now,” Kejriwal said.
Thousands of farmers from Haryana and Punjab have been protesting in and around several borders of Delhi against the three farm laws. The government pushed for the agriculture laws saying that it will bring major reforms in the farming sector that will help eliminate the middlemen from the equation, allowing the farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.
However, the farmers are apprehensive of the new laws and say that it will takeaway the safety cushion of MSP and mandi system, due to which they will have to be at the mercy of corporate leaders.
“Some people claim that only a few farmers from Punjab and Haryana are participants in the protest. It is their misconception. Farmers across the country are troubled... The new bills make hoarding legal. It will lead to inflation… I urge the central government to leave behind their ego, roll back the three laws and prepare a new bill to ensure minimum support price for farmers,” Kejriwal added.
Earlier in the day, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar and minister of state for commerce and industry Som Parkash met Union home minster Amit Shah as the deadlock between protesting farmers and the Centre over the new farm laws continued for the 18th day, according to reports.
The agitating farmers have threatened to block the Delhi-Jaipur highway. The farmers’ union leader also said that they will sit on fast from 8am to 5pm on December 14 at Singhu border.
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