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Farmers’ protests | Massive gathering in Haryana demands repeal of farm laws

Farmers attend a ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’ against the new farm laws in Jind district of Haryana on February 3, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

With a massive “mahapanchayat” in Kandela village here on Wednesday, the farming community of Haryana signalled that it had jumped into the fray to seek the repeal of the farm laws with a renewed enthusiasm. Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said at the meeting that the farmers would emerge victorious if young people remained peaceful.

Amid resurgence of the farmers’ agitation in Haryana in the wake of Mr. Tikait’s recent emotional outburst, the “mahapanchayat” adopted a five-point resolution seeking repeal of the contentious laws, besides a legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report, release of those arrested for the Republic Day violence and loan waiver. The participants raised their hands to support the resolution.

 

Held at the behest of Kandela Khap, the meeting, addressed by Mr. Tikait and Balbir Singh Rajewal, heading a BKU faction in Punjab, saw participation of Khap leaders from across the State, besides thousands of farmers, including women.

A series of panchayats at village levels and Khap panchayats have been held across the State over the past few days reiterating the support to the agitation.

‘Mass movement’

Addressing the gathering, Sangwan Khap president and Dadri MLA Sombir Sangwan said the people of Haryana at the protest sites around Delhi had outnumbered those from Punjab participating in the agitation, which, he said, had now become the “mass movement”.

Mr. Tikait, amid loud cheers, said the unions were firmly fighting for the farmers’ rights and there would be no compromise on their self esteem. 

He said there was no need for more farmers to march to Delhi as of now.

Mr. Tikait said Haryana and Uttar Pradesh stood firmly behind Punjab to support the agitation and Mr. Rajewal was their leader. “There will be no change in the committee holding talks with the government. You don’t change horses in the middle of a battle,” said Mr. Tikait, stressing unity among the unions spearheading the agitation.

Referring to the heightened security and barricading at the protest sites, Mr. Tikait said it showed that the ruler was scared.

Mr. Rajewal said they had proved to the government that the farmers were right in seeking repeal of the laws, but the government didn’t want to listen to them. “It is the stubbornness of the ruler,” said Mr. Rajewal. He added that the government had converted the protest sites into “open jails.”

BKU general secretary Yudhveer Singh said farmers were up against the conspirators who were expert at spreading lies. He said the government could withdraw the scheme to pay ₹6,000 to farmers annually, but must fix the right price for their crops. Mr. Singh said the government wanted to create communal tension at Ghazipur after the Republic Day incident, but “it was not Shaheen Bagh and farmers knew how to get their rights.”

BKU (Charuni) president Gurnam Singh Charuni said the government was pro-corporate and making laws to benefit them and not the common people.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 1:35:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-change-in-panel-holding-talks-with-govt-says-rakesh-tikait/article33740494.ece

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