Farmers from Ludhiana district take out tractor marches on national highways : The Tribune India

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Farmers from Ludhiana district take out tractor marches on national highways

SKM observes ‘Quit WTO Day’, seeks agri sector be removed from International body’s agreement

Farmers from Ludhiana district take out tractor marches on national highways

Members of the Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) park their tractors on the national highway during their tractor rally in Ludhiana on Monday. TRIBUNE PHOTO



Tribune News Service

Manav Mander

Ludhiana, February 26

Farmers from the district today took out tractor marches along national highways on the call given by Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM). The morcha has announced to observe ‘Quit WTO Day’ today, demanding agriculture sector be taken out of WTO agreement. They demanded that the Centre should put pressure on developed countries to keep agriculture out of World Trade Organisation (WTO) discussions.

The protesting farmers also raised slogans against the ongoing meeting of the WTO at Abu Dhabi. The meeting is being held from February 26 to 29.

Members of Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) took out a tractor march on the Ludhiana-Delhi highway at Bija. They stationed tractors facing Delhi and burnt the effigy of the WTO.

Members of the union said the government should abstain from taking any decision in the WTO meeting that could harm food security and interests of farmers.

They demanded that India should quit the WTO.

“We are demanding MSP, procurement by government and government presence in marketing of crops. But from WTO drafts, it came forward that it wants member countries to stop subsidies for farmers and end procurement for the public distribution system,” said Saudagar Singh, general secretary BKU (Ekta Ugrahan).

He said they would be arranging a conference on March 14 at Ram Lila ground in Delhi and intensify their protest further.

Members of the BKU (Lakhowal) also took out a tractor march on a national highway. The march started from Kohara and ended at Kharar.

Addressing the farmers, president of the BKU (Lakhowal) Harinder Singh Lakhowal said they had serious doubts about the WTO meeting being held in Abu Dhabi.

Lakhowal claimed that WTO’s policies were detrimental to their livelihood and said the agricultural sector should be removed from the WTO agreement and the government should guarantee them minimum support price (MSP) and ensure subsidies.

“We will not step back till our demands are accepted by the government. Our demands include a legal guarantee on minimum support price for crops, pension for farmers and farm labourers and farm loan waiver,” he said.

The protesters also raised concern over incidents held on the Punjab-Haryana border, which led to the death of a young farmer.

“We are citizens of the country and have every right to show our dissent and protest. We were peacefully marching towards Delhi but the government is treating us as outsiders and not allowing us to enter Delhi. We will not move back this time till our demands are met,” said a member of the BKU (Kadian).

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#Agriculture #Samyukt Kisan Morcha


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