Farmers’ Nationwide Hunger | Sidnaz Blog

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Farmers have been camping on Delhi outskits since Late November over the new farm laws.

New Delhi:
As protests against the government’s new agricultural laws escalate, all leaders of farmers’ bodies – backing thousands of protesters camping near Delhi borders since late November – are holding a hunger strike today and hold demonstrations across the country. This is the second nationwide protest in less than a week after highways were blocked last Tuesday as a part of countrywide shutdown call backed by opposition parties and trade unions. Despite several round of talks with the government, farmers have said the protests will continue till the new farm laws are scrapped.

Here is your ten-point cheat sheet on this big story:

  1. Protesters will also hold a nationwide demonstration at all district offices and a hunger strike till 5 pm, they said. The hunger strike is a part of the farmers’ plan to intensify their agitation.

  2. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday he will fast along with farmers. “I will hold a one-day fast tomorrow in support of farmers’ protests. I appeal to AAP volunteers to join in. Centre should immediately accept all demands of farmers protesting the laws and bring a bill to guarantee MSP (minimum support price),” Mr Kejriwal said.

  3. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Sunday accused the opposition parties of running a propaganda against the new farm laws. “When reforms are undertaken it will benefit farmers in the long run. But in the short run, some may face difficulty. We know we can achieve no gain without difficulties,” the Union Minister, who has held several round of negotiations with farmers’ representatives, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

  4. Protesters continue to partially block Delhi-Jaipur highway after farmers from Rajasthan and Haryana began their march to the national capital on Sunday amid huge police presence. Many of them were stopped in Haryana’s Rewari, 100 km from Delhi . 

  5. The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) faction — one of the key organisations leading the farmers’ protest — saw discord on Sunday over the opening of a highway from Noida to Delhi, a day after Thakur Bhanu Pratap Singh, the president of the organization, met with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The UP unit chief of the BKU (Bhanu) Yogesh Pratap, who was holding a sit-in protest on the Chilla road for the last 12 days, disagreed with the decision.

  6. The farmers’ call to intensify the agitation came on Saturday, hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured: “Reforms will help draw investment in agriculture and benefit farmers.”

  7. The government has tried to engage leaders of the farmers’ organisations with even Union Home Minister Amit Shah stepping in for talks, offering changes to the laws and written assurances, but the demonstrators have held their ground.

  8. Voted through parliament in September with little debate, the laws only give an additional option to farmers to sell their produce, the government argues, but small farmers fear that once big corporate players enter the market, they will lose guarantees on prices.

  9. A petition was filed on Friday in the Supreme Court by the Bharatiya Kisan Union that sought repeal them. The top court has already issued notices to the centre on a batch of petitions challenging the laws.

  10. Several opposition parties, including the Congress, have been critcising the government over the handling of the protests. Thousands of farmers have been camping on the outskirts of Delhi since late November. Many of them braved a brutal police crackdown last month in BJP-ruled Haryana before being allowed into Delhi.

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