Haryana farmers block highways including NH 344 over farm bills
A farmers group in Haryana has declared that its protests will continue till the farm reform bills are withdrawn.Updated: Sep 20, 2020, 14:36 IST
Thousands of farmers have blocked most of the national and state highways including NH 344 also known as Ambala-Roorkee national highway near Milk Majra village of Yamunanagar district in Haryana to oppose the farm reform bills under consideration in the Parliament .
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) state president Gurnam Singh Charuni led the protest in Yamunanagar and thanked the farmers for coming out in large numbers and extending support to the agitation against the three farm ordinances, which the central government is trying to pass as bills in the current session of Parliament.
Addressing the farmers, Charuni said that the state government used police force, registered false cases and farmers and also tried to divide farmers but it failed on all fronts.
“I want to assure the farmers of the state that the agitation will continue till the Central government withdraws its ordinances and the government cannot suppress the voice of the farmers,” he added.
In Kaithal, the farmers blocked Ambala-Hisar highway near Titram Mor of Kaithal. The farmer leaders made it clear that the highway will remain blocked for three hours and further decisions will be taken after a state-level meeting on September 25.
In Kurukshetra, district farmers blocked national and state highways at Ladwa, Kurukshetra and Shahbad towns. The commission agents have also extended support to the farmers. The police were deployed but they did not stop the farmers. The police were seen managing the traffic which has been diverted on the link roads. While farmers were protesting on the roads, the commission agents held a meeting in the grain market and assured their support to the farmers’ protest.
Farmer leaders have got huge support from farmers, commission agents and the protests had spread leading to the blocking of highways at five locations in Kurukshetra district, which was the epicenter of September 10 protests. Similar protests were witnessed in Karnal, Yamunanagar and Kaithal districts.
Protests are also being backed by the opposition parties like the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Congress. The opposition leaders were seen at the protest sites extending support to the farmers.
Ram Karan Kala, Shahbad MLA of Jannayak Janta Party, which is in the ruling alliance with the BJP, was seen among the protesting farmers, assuring to take up their issue with the state government. He did not give any satisfactory answer when the farmers asked him to resign and support the agitation, saying, “ I have come here to extend my support to the farmers and will take up their concern with the government”.
Meanwhile in New Delhi, Union minister of agriculture and farmer welfare Narendra Singh Tomar moved two farm bills in the Rajya Sabha, reported agencies. Farmers’ and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 were passed by Lok Sabha with a voice vote a couple of days back.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 permits the electronic trading of farmers’ produce and allows the setting up of transaction platforms for facilitating direct online buying and selling of farm products.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 provides for a farming agreement prior to the production or rearing of any farm produce. A guaranteed price to be paid for the purchase of farming produce will be mentioned in such agreements.
Farmers’ bodies in some states and the Opposition parties have alleged that the two bills are aimed at benefitting big corporates and ending the minimum price based procurement of farm produce by the government