All the 247 Krishi Upaj mandis in Rajasthan remained closed on Monday in protest against the contentious farm Bills passed in the Parliament, while the workers of the ruling Congress staged demonstrations and submitted memorandums to the District Collectors. The farmers’ outfits extended support to a call for a ‘Bharat bandh’ on September 25.
A delegation led by Pradesh Congress Committee president Govind Singh Dotasra submitted a memorandum addressed to Governor Kalraj Mishra in Jaipur. Mr. Dotasra said the farmers would become labourers with the passage of the Bills and big companies would take over their land and agricultural produce.
Revenue Minister Harish Chaudhary and Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas, who accompanied Mr. Dotasra, said the “anti-farmer Bills” had been brought in a hurry, and the farmers had been deprived of the bonus on minimum support prices. “The passage of Bills during the pandemic shows that the Narendra Modi government is not concerned about deaths due to virus infection,” Mr. Khachariyawas said.
The closure of markets affected business worth ₹600 crore as well as the work of about 5 lakh labourers, farmer leaders said. The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) staged a sit-in outside the Collectorate in Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh to highlight the provisions of the Bills which would affect farmers.
AIKS vice-president and former CPI(M) MLA Amra Ram said the BJP government at the Centre, which was serving the interests of big corporate houses, wanted to destroy small and marginal farmers, agricultural labourers, small shopkeepers and the rural population. “The Bills amount to an attack on India’s federal structure... No State Assembly debated the issue and no farmers were consulted,” he stated.
Sanjay Madhav of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee said the road traffic would be stopped and public meetings would be organised during the bandh in the State to tell the farmers of the Bills’ impact on their livelihood, minimum support prices, public distribution system and Krishi Upaj mandis.