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Farmers to intensify protest, will march towards Parliament on budget day: Reports

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: In addition to Republic day tractor rally the protesting farmers on Monday announced their plans to intensify their agitation against Centre’s three farm laws in order to put pressure on government to withdraw these ‘anti-farmer’ laws.

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“On February 1, we will march on foot towards Parliament in Delhi from different locations,” said Darshan Pal from the Krantikari Kisan Union, one of the nearly 40 groups protesting at Delhi border.

Tens of thousands farmers have been protesting against these agriculture laws since November 26 and have so far adopted different techniques to make them demands heard. In December, they had organised a nationwide strike, blocking key roads in cities across the country.

Till now, 11 rounds of talks have been held between protesting farmer unions and Centre but all of them have remained inconclusive so far. Though the government has offered a hold of 18 months on the implementation of the contentious laws but the farmers have rejected it reiterating their demand for complete repeal of the legislature.

Republic day tractor rally is also farmers’ way to make their voice heard on international level and intensify their agitation. Meanwhile, the Delhi police has given permission for the January 26 rally provided that they don’t venture in main city but could could carry out protest after Republic day parade at the outer boarders of the national capital. The Police has also made elaborate arrangements for the rally, which the farmers have assured will be peaceful.

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Furthermore, the farmers are camping along three border points near Delhi; Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur, and have said they won’t leave until the government scrape down what they call the “black laws”. The Centre has categorically denied to repeal the laws but agreed to suspend its implementation for one-and-a-half years.

Calling it the best offer, Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the farmers should reconsider it.

The three farm laws that have put farmers and Centre at conflict are; Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.

The government in its defence said that the three laws, passed in September, are meant to overhaul procurement procedures and grant farmers more options to sell their produce. However, the farmers denounce these laws alleging that it will hurt farm incomes and leave them vulnerable to big corporations.

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