Farm laws National

Farmers to protest at Parliament

Farmers from Punjab arriving to join the protest on the new farm laws at Singhu Border, in New Delhi on Wednesday, July 21.   | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

The protest against the three agricultural reform laws has come full circle, with farm unions arriving at Parliament on July 22, to demand the repeal of the laws passed 10 months ago.

With Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal giving official approval for a staggered agitation at Jantar Mantar during the monsoon session, farm leaders says the government must take responsibility for ensuring there is no conflict or chaos as seen on the Republic Day, the last time the protesters entered the capital.

Voters’ whips

“It is Parliament that had passed these laws and they are the ones who must take the responsibility to repeal them. We have issued voters’ whips to all Opposition MPs that they must raise the issue within the House, while we sit outside at Jantar Mantar,” said Jagmohan Singh, a leader of the Dakaunda faction of the Bharatiya Kisan Union in Punjab.

He said there had been no progress in terms of talks with the government since the last round ended six months ago on January 22. Hence the return to the legislature. “There will be no hullaballoo. We will just sit there as long as Parliament sits every day, holding them accountable to the people’s interests. It will be a parallel Parliament.”

Krantikari Kisan Union president Darshan Pal, who is also a member of the core committee of the wider Samyukt Kisan Morcha platform of all protesting unions, welcomed the L-G’s official nod of approval. “We have been having talks with the Delhi police, and they have pursued this official permission with the government,” he said. He reiterated that there would be no attempt to enter Parliament or accost MPs. The MPs would not even speak at the Kisan Sansads being held at Jantar Mantar, he said.

Given that the SKM is taking steps to vet and control its daily contingent of 200 protesters, All India Kisan Sabha general secretary Hannan Mollah said the ball was in the government’s court to prevent hijacking of a peaceful agitation.

“We do not want any agent to enter and create a bad name for the movement, because that was done on January 26. Those people who were not part of the movement were used and they created the vandalism. If that happens again, that is the government’s responsibility,” he said.

Identification badges

The protesters are all coming in special buses from the Singhu border, with each expected to wear identification badges and carry Aadhaar cards, in accordance with a list given to the police. “No outsider can enter with us. But some extremist groups, who are not part of the SKM, have given statements that they will enter Parliament and say Khalistan Zindabad. It is not our job. Terrorists in the country are there and it is the government’s job to identify terrorists and stop them,” said Mr. Mollah.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 4:32:15 PM |

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