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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Protests against Farm Bills: Congress plans nationwide agitation; Punjab Bandh on Sept 25

Punjab and Haryana have seen widespread protests against the Bills in the past few days. The protests intensified today, with the farmers holding several demonstrations in Bengaluru and Uttar Pradesh.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 23, 2020 11:00:29 am
Haryana farmers protest, opposition party protests, Haryana farm bill protest, Haryana farmers protest, Indian expressVarious farmer organisations and Opposition have decided to gherao senior BJP-JJP leaders' residences on October 5 and 6 across Haryana. (Express photo by Harmeet Sodhi)

A day after the Parliament passed contentious farm sector bills amid ruckus in the Rajya Sabha, the Congress Monday said it will launch a nationwide agitation against them, and also initiate a campaign to collect two crore signatures of farmers and the poor against these proposed legislations. Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said a series of press conferences will be organised against the farm Bills across the country. The state party chiefs and other senior leaders will take out marches in their respective states and submit memoranda to the respective state governors.

Proceedings in Rajya Sabha on Monday were disrupted several times, before it was finally adjourned for the day, amid strong protests over the suspension of eight opposition MPs for their “unruly behaviour” during the passage of the farm Bills Sunday. The eight members — Derek O Brien, Sanjay Singh, Rajiv Satav, KK Ragesh, Ripun Bora, Dola Sen, Syed Nazir Hussain and Elamaran Kareem — held a sit-in protest outside the Parliament Monday.

Rajya Sabha MPs, suspended from the House, sit in protest near Gandhi statue.

Punjab and Haryana have seen widespread protests against the Bills in the past few days. The protests intensified today, with farmers holding demonstrations in Bengaluru and Uttar Pradesh too.

Hundreds of farmers, labourers and members of Dalit organisations took part in a demonstration at Bengaluru’s Anand Rao Circle against the new farm Bills passed by the Centre and land legislations proposed by the Karnataka government. The protesters then moved to Freedom Park, where a conference was held on these issues. Protests against the farm Bills were witnessed inside Vidhana Soudha too, where the seventh session of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly is in progress.

Here is the line of action to mount pressure on the Centre to withdraw the legislation.

AAP announces full support to farmers’ strike, to form ‘human chain’ across Punjab on Sept 24

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has announced its full support to the farmers’ strike on September 25 against agriculture Bills passed in Parliament and has directed all its leaders and volunteers to for human chains across Punjab on September 24.

Amidst high drama outside Punjab Raj Bhavan, a delegation of MLAs and party leaders led by Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema and Punjab in-charge Jarnail Singh (MLA) handed over a memorandum to the President through the Governor alleging that the delegation was not allowed inside.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Cheema said the Raj Bhawan officials were using delaying tactics to prevent the delegation from meeting the Governor.

All 30 farmer unions support Punjab bandh on Sept 25

After holding separate protests against the agriculture Bills, all the 30 state farmer organisations have come on a common platform and supported Punjab bandh of September 25, announced by the state unit of All India Kisan Sangrash Coordination Comittee (AIKSCC). As many as 10 central trade union on Monday announced their support to the nationwide protest on September 25, saying the BJP government should stop anti-farmers measures.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the 30 farmer unions at Moga on Saturday afternoon. The unions will again meet at Barnala on September 22 to decide the future course of action.

farmers protest, farm sector bill, farm bills protest, farmers protest bill, parliament ruckus, rajya sabha ruckus, farm bill 2020, farm bill rajya sabha, farmers protest, farmers protest in haryana, Police use water cannons to disperse the Youth Congress workers accompanied by farmers at Punjab-Haryana border near Ambala on Sunday (Express photo by Jasbir Malhi)

The farmer unions appealed to the people of Punjab to shut their shops/ factories, rail / road transport or any type of services on September 25. They will allow only health and essential services to remain operational on that day. A rail roko has been already been announced from September 24-26 by Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee. The farmer unions will support ambulance services and their volunteers will be there to help out patients in need.

Bhartiya Kisan Union announces roadblocks on Sept 25 

Bharatiya Kisan Union on Monday announced a nationwide protest against the legislations on September 25. The BKU made this announcement while holding a demonstration against the farm Bills outside the Muzaffarnagar district magistrate’s office under its leader Rakesh Tikait.

Tikait, also the BKU’s national spokesperson, said his outfit would stage a demonstration and “chakkajam” on September 25. “The farmers have lost faith in the BJP-led central government as it passed the Bills in Rajya Sabha without any discussion.”

Farm Bill protests, Farm Bills, farmers protest in Karnataka, Karnataka land reforms amendment Act, Bangalore farmers protest, Bengaluru farmers protest, indian express Over 500 police personnel were deployed in Bengaluru’s Freedom Park, where the agitations culminated. (Express photo)

DMK, allies to stage protests across Tamil Nadu on September 28

The DMK and its allies on Monday decided to stage protests across Tamil Nadu on September 28 to urge the Centre to take back the farm Bills. A meet held at DMK headquarters, presided by the Dravidian party chief M K Stalin, said the protest is to condemn the ruling AIADMK government as well which is lending a helping hand to the Centre on the matter.

The passage of the Bills has once again put a question mark on “federalism” besides pushing poor farmers, a resolution adopted at the meeting said.

The protest planned for the next week is aimed at urging the Union government to withdraw the Bills, it added.

Farm Bills anti-farmer, will lead to famine: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday alleged that the two farm Bills passed in Rajya Sabha would deprive farmers of minimum support price (MSP) and will lead to famine in the country. All Opposition parties should come together and fight these bills tooth and nail, said Banerjee, who is also the Trinamool Congress chief.

“Even as the country is reeling under COVID-19 pandemic, the Centre is trying to create famine through these farm Bills,” she claimed while addressing a press conference. “The Centre has done nothing to control the price rise of essential commodities. It is bulldozing these two anti-farmer legislations. These Bills will lead to food crisis as farmers will not get MSP,” Banerjee said.

Ravi Shankar Prasad slams opposition leaders for RS ruckus

The government on Monday accused Opposition leaders of irresponsible conduct in the Rajya Sabha during the passage of the farm Bills and said they violated rules by not vacating the House despite being suspended. Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the conduct of the leaders was “shameful” and “irresponsible”.

He was addressing a press conference with fellow Union ministers Pralhad Joshi and Piyush Goyal on the pandemonium in the Upper House on Sunday and Monday.

Opposition Rajya Sabha members despite being suspended did not leave the House on Monday which was an open violation of the rules, Prasad said. “We had a clear majority in Rajya Sabha on farm Bills,” he said, adding that 110 members supported the Bills and a little over 70 opposed it.

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