Farmers in Haryana Friday took to the streets and blocked roads and highways by parking tractor-trolleys to press the Centre for the withdrawal of the contentious farm Bills passed by Parliament, which are yet to get the assent of the President.
The farmer unions claimed the agitation had impact across the state while Rohtak, Jind and Kurukshetra remained almost disconnected with other parts with farmers blocking roads leading to these towns. The authorities diverted traffic to alternative routes at several places.
A call by the union leaders to not block the national highways had no impact as farmers blocked these roads especially in Rohtak and Jind district. The agitators also blocked the Ambala-Yamunanagar-Saharanpur railway track near Sudhal village of Yamunanagar district.
In Rohtak district, independent MLA Balraj Kundu also joined hands with agitator farmers.
Haryana Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Gurnam Singh Chaduni, meanwhile, said: “Our struggle will continue. The government has to either accept our demands or shoot us”.
This time the agitation was full of colours with farmers raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid the tunes of Haryanvi ragnis (folk songs) in Rohtak district. Elderly farmers also joined youth in raising slogans against the farm Bills. The agitators termed the Bills as anti-farmer. In Fatehabad district, patriotic songs were played on loudspeakers as protesters staged a long march in Ratia town. Ratia is the same area from where the farmers had took out a tractor march in May to oppose Haryana government’s decision to restrict paddy cultivation to 50 per cent area. A day after the tractor march, the government had to soften its stand on the issue while relaxing certain conditions.
All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) activists led by its state secretary Dayanand Poonia staged a demonstration at Siwani town of Bhiwani district. A BKU leader Rakesh Bains said the farmers staged a protest march in Ambala and urged the shopkeepers to close their shops. Bains claimed a large number of farmers participated in the agitation in Karnal, Hisar, Kaithal and Panchkula districts too.
The farmers fear that the new legislations will end the minimum support price (MSP) regime.
Chaduni said, “The proposed provisions will hit the MSP and mandi system affecting farmers, labourers and arhtiyas like what happened in Bihar after introduction of similar provisions in 2006.” “With the implementation of new Bills, the entire agriculture business is going in the hands of few capitalists. They will purchase the entire food produce and will store the same as the limit from its stock has been removed after amendment in the Essential Commodities Act,” said Chaduni while addressing the farmers at various places.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines