Farmer groups across the country will observe a protest day on Friday in all major States against the passing of three farm-related Bills which they described as ‘anti-farmer legislations’.
The BJP government showed utter disregard for established Parliamentary procedures, federal principles, rights of States and farmers by pushing for the anti-farmer Bills without having wider consultation, said All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), which is a part of All India Kisan Sangarsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), that called for the protest.
“The government has sought it necessary to ride roughshod over all opposition including from the NDA allies to hastily pass these Bills to please the corporates and big agribusinesses,” AIKS, the CPI(M)-backed farmer organisation, said in a statement. Shiromani Akali Dal leader and Union Minister of Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, resigned from the Cabinet protesting against the government decision saying the Bills would hurt the interests of “her farmer brothers and sisters.”
In Punjab, farmers, under the leadership of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, have already commenced a three-day “rail roko” protest, which forced the Railways to suspend 14 pairs of special trains between September 24 and 26, while most freight and parcel trains will be rescheduled. As many as 31 farmer groups in Punjab have called for a complete shutdown in the State on Friday.
In Kerala, farmers under the banner of AIKSCC would march to 250 Central government offices in the State, apart from Raj Bhavan and hold demonstrations. “Respecting Covid-19 protocol, we would ensure that there would not be more than 100 protesters in these groups,” said KN Balagopal, former Rajya Sabha MP and a key organiser.
Similarly, farmers would hold protests in 20 districts in western Uttar Pradesh on Friday, said AIKSCC convenor Sardar VM Singh adding that this was just a beginning and the farmers plan to intensify the stir till the time the government repeal these Bills.
In Telangana, farmers’ organisations, political parties and NGOs are planning to a hold a dharna at the GST Bhavan in Hyderabad. The protesters also plan to block some national highways as part of the protest. Besides, there would be protest dharnas at the district and mandal headquarters. A local AIKSCC leader said they hope to garner the support of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi as it has already opposed the Bills. The CPI, CPM and Congress parties have announced their support to the protests.
In Karnataka, about 34 farmer, labour and dalit groups have come together against the Centre’s farm reforms and the State’s land reforms and have decided to step up their protest by blocking the highways across the State, said Kurbur Shantakumar, President of the Karnataka Cane Growers Association. Also, the farmer groups have called for a Karnataka bandh on September 28.