Farmers to march to Parliament during monsoon session

Farmers to march to Parliament during the monsoon session

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Farmers protesting three contentious agricultural laws enacted last year said on Sunday they’re going to take their demonstration to the capital and protest outside Parliament during the whole duration of the upcoming monsoon session, setting the stage for a fresh deadlock between farm unions and therefore the government. A group of around 200 farmers will protest against the Centre’s three farm laws outside Parliament a day during the monsoon session, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) said on Sunday.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a platform of quite 35 farm unions spearheading the protests, spurned the government’s offer to place the three laws on hold to seem into problems that the farmers may have had with any specific provisions, demanding that the govt scrap the legislation entirely.

The umbrella body said at a news briefing that two days before the session begins, a “chetavani Patra” (warning letter) is going to be given to all or any Opposition MPs to protest the laws inside the House.“This is an ultimatum. We can’t wait forever and that we are being forced to maneuver into the Capital,” Gurnam Singh Charuni, a farm leader, said. Parliament convenes on July 19 for its monsoon session.

The farm unions said they’re going to intensify their protests, move protesters alongside their tractors to the vicinity of Parliament and also organize demonstrations across the country.

In November last year, thousands of farmers had pitched tents at five sites near Delhi’s borders — Singhu, Ghaziabad, Tikri, Dhansa, and Shahjahanpur (on the Rajasthan-Haryana border) — from where they need been carrying on their protests.

The call by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha to march into the Capital is probably going to be met with resistance from the Delhi Police because such protests near Parliament are barred. On January 26, a tractor rally by the farmers on Republic Day within the capital turned violent when protesters clashed with policemen and breached the Red Fort.

The farm unions’ platform said nothing in need of repeal of the laws would be acceptable to them and “mere tinkering here and there’ll not work”.

“Ministers are stating that the govt is prepared for talks, as long as the farmers can discuss provisions that they need problems with. The ministers also are stating that the govt won’t repeal the three black central laws. Farmers have already clearly stated why amendments won’t work,” Darshan Pal, a key leader of the unions, said.

The cultivators say the laws enacted by the Narendra Modi-led government to liberalize farm trade will leave them at the mercy of huge corporations and jeopardize their livelihoods. they need also said the new laws would cause the dismantling of a system of assured prices that the govt offers for farm produce.

The government has billed the laws as necessary reforms to modernize India’s farming sector deemed largely unproductive. The gross domestic product (GDP) per worker in agriculture is one-third of the economy-wide GDP per worker. this suggests productivity in agriculture is just too low to lift the general economy.

Despite 11 rounds of talks — the last one was persisted on January 22 — there has been no point of agreement between the govt and therefore the farmers. the govt then offered to freeze the laws for 18 months, a proposal which the farmers had rejected.

“We are peaceful and always are going to be peaceful,” said Balbir Singh Rajewal, another farm leader who sits on the decision-making committee of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha. On Thursday, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the govt was able to ask farmers and willing to seem into their objections to the three laws.

“We can ask the farm union on any issue they’ll have except on the question of repealing the farm laws,” Tomar said while on a tour to Morena in Madhya Pradesh.

The farmers say a variety of convoys of tractors will begin heading towards the Capital as a part of their decision to intensify their agitation. One convoy left Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh and more are reaching protest sites with people and material, like food and cooking gas, said Rajewal.

The three agricultural laws have virtually tested the Modi government’s ability to push reforms within the farm sector and thrown up a political challenge of sorts.“It is simpler to try to do a stock-market reform or financial reform because its scope is restricted to a particular elite section of the population. But when it involves hard reforms affecting masses, like labor or agricultural reforms, these are areas where we’ll see big challenges,” said KK Kailash, who teaches politics at the University of Hyderabad.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Parliament in February that the system of minimum support prices “was there and can still be there”.

The Supreme Court had put the three laws on hold on January 12.

The government has said that the changes within the farm-trade system within the country envisaged by the laws were necessary to bring investment and growth within the farm sector, which supports nearly half the population. Farmers say the laws would work against their interests. “The crux of the matter is that the government’s laws are centered around large corporations which are against the interest of farmers and consumers. Why can’t markets be farmer-led?” asked Kavitha Kuruganti of the Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture who the farmers had nominated to argue their case with the govt during talks held earlier this year.

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