Ruchika M. Khanna and Sukhmeet Bhasin
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh/Bathinda, September 28
'Gherao Corporate Businesses' is the new plan of the protesting farmers in Punjab, after the three controversial Farm Bills got the Presidential nod on Sunday.
From the silo plants for grain storage built by Adanis to Walmart and Metro stores, from Toll Plazas on highways operated by some big corporate houses to the three private power plants in the state-a list of all businesses run by big corporate houses has been drawn and distributed among the ranks and file of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan). Beginning Monday, they will lay siege to these businesses, even as their three day Rail Roko campaign ends on Tuesday.
Aam Aadmi Party, too, joined the Gherao Corporate Houses campaign.
The silo run by Adani Agri Logistics Group at Village Dagru in Moga was gheraoed by Barnala MLA Gurmeet Hayer.
Farmers owing allegiance to Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) called an emergency meeting on Sunday night, after the President of India gave assent to the Bills, allowing enactment of Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, and Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill-the latter being the most unacceptable to farmers in Punjab.
Other than BKU (Ekta Ugrahan), 30 other farm unions in the state have announced their plans to stop all trains from October 1, and gherao the offices and residences of BJP leaders in all districts of the state.
Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, general Secretary of BKU (Ekta Ugrahan), said that since the Modi government was enacting the laws to favour corporate houses, they had decided to gherao all businesses run by these corporate houses.
“We will stall their operations. While a formal announcement will be made later today, we have given directions to our district units to start the protests,” he said.
In Talwandi Sabo, Farmers, headed Resham Singh Tungwali, staged a protest outside the Reliance Petrol Pump.
Tungwali said, “The bills which have been passed by the union government in the name of 'One Nation, One Mandi' is a bid to give everything in hands of the private players.”
He alleged that these anti-farmer bills would benefit Ambani and Adani.
He also announced that if bills are not revoked by the union government, then they would gherao the Guru Gobind Singh Refinery at Rama Mandi in protest in coming days.
Farmers also claimed that the government has left them at the mercy of big corporations. It is preposterous to believe that farmers who have small land-holdings will have any bargaining power over private players.
Shingara Singh Mann of BKU Ekta Ugrahan said: “In coming days, our target would be Modi, BJP and big corporate houses like Ambani and Adani. We would do gherao of Reliance Petrol Pumps and Malls, we have our union meeting tomorrow, in which an announcement about this would be made and it would be discussed that on which malls, pumps and toll plaza we will stage protest, but Multinational Companies (MNC) would face the heat in Punjab”.
Apart from this, even messages in which farmers are appealing people to boycott using reliance fuel and JIO sim in protest against these anti-farmer bills are making rounds on social media. They are claiming that these Reliance, Jio, Adani and Ambani are anti farmers, so people should boycott their products.
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