Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 27 February 2024 10.12 PM IST

Second part of farmers’ strike; Demands not implemented on Modi's assurances?


NEW DELHI: The 'Delhi Chalo' protest by the farmers raising various demands has started. Organizations like Samyukta Kisan Morcha and Kisan Mazdoor Morcha have called for the strike. Legislation to ensure minimum support price, execution of M S Swaminathan Commission report are some of the demands raised by the farmers. Delhi Police and drones have been deployed to monitor the protesters.

The farmers are raising a number of issues including the restoration of the 2013 Land Acquisition Act, withdrawal from the World Trade Organization and compensation to the families of farmers who died during the previous strike during the Delhi Chalo march. Repeal of the Electricity Act 2020, compensation to the farmers killed in Lakhimpurkheri and withdrawal of cases against those involved in the farmers' strike are the main demands of Delhi Chalo march.

The farmers are going ahead with the agitation, pointing out that the government did not keep the promises made two years ago, although the issues were agreed upon in the discussion held last night. In the discussion, the central government is ready to withdraw the cases registered against the farmers during the 2020-21 agitation, but the farmers are adamant about the need for legislation to ensure the minimum support price.

Although the government has assured to set up a committee to understand the legal aspects of legislation for minimum support price, debt waiver and implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations, the farmers' representatives have not taken this into belief.

The 13-month-long farmers' agitation came to an end when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in November 2021 the repeal of three controversial agricultural laws. After nine months, on July 12, 2022, the central government constituted a 29-member expert committee. Four of them were central government secretaries and four were state representatives. However, representatives from the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have not been included in the committee. Following the agitation, the central government announced on October 18 that it will raise the minimum support price for six Rabi crops.

Security has been beefed up in Delhi in view of farmers' strike. Prohibitory orders have been announced in Delhi till March 12. Chandigarh-based lawyer Uday Pratap Singh has filed a plea in the Haryana-Punjab High Court seeking a stay from taking drastic measures like internet bans and road closures to deal with the strike. The opposing parties include the central government and the governments of Haryana and Punjab. The plea questioned the ban on internet and bulk SMS in seven districts including Ambala and Kurukshetra in Haryana till midnight today.

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