Protest over ordinances enters Day 2

Protest over ordinances enters Day 2

Up in arms: Farmers protest agrarian ordinances by blocking the Amritsar-Delhi National Highway on the Beas bridge on Tuesday. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service
Amritsar, September 15

The protest by farmers who gathered under the banner of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KSMC) against three agricultural ordinances continued on the second day at the bridge on the Beas on the second day here on Tuesday. The ordinances were tabled by the Narendra Modi government in Parliament for debate and passage during the current monsoon session.

They blocked traffic between Amritsar and Jalandhar. However, farmer leaders said that they allowed essential and emergency services to pass. The Beas Police have registered a case against the agitators for causing inconvenience to public and blocking of roads.

The protesters did not even care for their safety in these times of Covid-19 as they sat closely without wearing masks. Besides, the social distancing norm was also not followed by them.

They came in buses and other vehicles. Holding banners and buntings, they raised slogans against the Union Government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They also raised slogans against the NDA government’s alliance partner SAD.

Farmer leaders even flayed the SAD for endorsing the policies of the NDA. They said the Akali Dal had forgotten its major demand for federal structure in the country for the sake of plum seat for its leader in the Union Cabinet.

After finding good support of farmers, their leaders decided to continue the protest till any positive response came out from the Central Government.

Addressing them, Sarwan Singh Pandher, general secretary of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, said they were awaiting the response from the Centre.

He accused political leadership of releasing misleading statements to end their agitation. He said earlier they were told that these ordinances were passed after taking endorsement from Chief Ministers (CMs) of all states, including CM Capt Amarinder Singh. Now, the latter claimed that he did not endorse any legislation of farming.

He said three agriculture ordinances passed by the Union Cabinet like amendment to the Essential Commodities (EC) Act, to free up inter-state trade in agricultural commodities and provide a regulatory framework for contract farming were anti-farmers.

He said the ordinances would dislodge small-time farmers to help private firms to take over.

He said the government was offering the MSP on 23 crops but it was not buying all of these from farmers. He added that its agencies were procuring only 6 per cent grains from farmers, a majority of whom were from Haryana and Punjab. For instance, he said, maize was sold at Rs 1,100 in the markets of Punjab whereas its MSP was fixed at Rs 1,850.

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