Lucknow: Several farmer outfits on Tuesday hit the road in large numbers in 12 districts of Western Uttar Pradesh, opposing the controversial agriculture Bills of the Narendra Modi government, which were passed by two Houses of Parliament last week amid Opposition uproar.
The farmer protests were held under the umbrella of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU). A similar protest against the Centre’s controversial farm sector legislations was also held by the activists of the Opposition Samajwadi Party.
Coming out in support of the agitating farmers of Punjab and Haryana — who have been protesting against the Narendra Modi government’s agriculture Bills — BKU leaders and supporters staged demonstrations and sat on a dharna at the offices of the administration in Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Saharanpur, Baghpat, Shamli, Bulandshahar, Hapur, Sambhal, Amroha, Rampur, Bijnor and Moradabad districts of Western UP.
Addressing the gathering in Muzzaffarnagar, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait targeted the ruling BJP. He blamed the Modi government of allegedly “benefiting a handful of capitalists” for which it was “bent on abolishing the mandi system in the country”.
Tikait further said that the government had become an autocratic, adding that such an 'unfortunate' incident had happened for the first time in the history of the country's Parliament, where neither any discussion took place, nor were MPs allowed to question the passage of the Bills.
"If MPs of the country don't have the right to ask questions, then why is PM Modi wasting Rs 900 crore of the public's income for the construction of the new Parliament amid the COVID-19 pandemic," added Tikait.
He alleged that the Centre, under the shadow of these Bills, wanted to take away the right of MSP (minimum support price) for farmers.
"Till there is no agreement, the farmers of the entire country will remain on the roads," said Tikait.
The BKU (Bhanu group), Mazdoor Kisan Manch, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Bhanu), Bhartiya Kisan Union
(Ambawata), Bhartiya Kisan Sabha and Bhartiya Kisan Mahasabha also staged such dharnas and protests in Amroha, Sambhal, Moradabad and other districts. Hundreds of farmers held protests at the collectorate office in Amroha and handed over their memorandum to officials. “We strongly demand the withdrawal of these controversial Central Bills,” Diwakar told NewsClick.
Brij Bihari, general secretary of UP, Mazdoor Kisan Manch, said that new laws were unconstitutional. "The farmers have lost faith in the BJP-led Central government as it passed the Bills in Rajya Sabha without any discussion," he said, accusing the government of misleading people by bringing these farm Bills," Bihari told NewsClick.
The farmers' organisations, said their outfit would stage demonstration and "chakka jam" on September 25 and protest against the government “anti-farmer” policy and laws while burning the effigy of PM Modi and the Bills.
The All India Kisan Sabha, part of the All India Kisan Coordination Committee (AIKCC), has also announced a country-wide protest on September 25. As many as 10 central trade unions have extended support to farmers.
"The Modi government at the Centre got anti-farmer Bills passed on its strength in Parliament by resorting to lies and deceit and without telling the public the truth," said Atul Anjan, leader of the Communist Party of India.
"Three hundred farmer organisations, Opposition parties in the country are opposing all three Bills. But the government is desperate to hand over the farming to the corporate houses," said Anjan, adding that All India Kisan Sabha’s motto behind September 25 will be to save farmers, save villages, save agriculture and save the nation.
The CPI leader said implementation of the MS Swaminathan Commission's recommendation would have been good for the farmers, but the government was instead corporatizing agriculture.