Mumbai, Dec. 6:
The farmers who are protesting at the Delhi borders against the three farm laws passed by the Modi government during the Monsoon session of Parliament in September, have announced to observe ’Bharat Bandh’ on December 8.
The bandh is supported by some of trade unions and left parties. A joint statement released by CPI, CPI(M) and CPM(M-L), Revolutionary Socialist Party and All India Forward Bloc said, “The Left parties extend their solidarity with and support to the ongoing massive agitation by Kisan organisations from all over the country against the new Agri laws. The Left parties extend their support to the call given by them for a Bharat Bandh on 08 December 8.” The Congress, Trinamool Congress and Telengana Rashtra Samiti have also announced their support to the bandh.
In Maharashtra Peasants and Workers’ Party(PWP) has also extended its support to the proposed bandh. PWP General Secretary MLC Jayant Patil in a statement said that the PWP will be whole heartedly support the bandh, since the policies of the Union Government are not only anti-farmer but anti-labour. The centre’s 4 bills are anti-labour. Besides proposed power bill is expected to hammer the poor people since it seeks to withdraw concessional electricity tariff to farmers and domestic consumers and charge at uniform rate to all the consumers.
In New Delhi farmers unilaterally decided to observe a bandh on December 8 and block all entry-exit points along Delhi and occupy all the toll plazas if new farm laws are not scrapped. Thousand of farmers from Punjab and Haryana have been protesting at several Delhi border points for over a week.
In an attempt to end the stalemate, a government delegation led by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar held talks with Kisan union leaders on Tuesday and Thursday. However, both parties failed to reach a conclusion as the farmers stuck to their demand of repealing the three “hastily-passed” farm laws.
The farmers are protesting against the following three bills: The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act. They have termed the laws as ‘anti-farmer’ and alleged that the Acts would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system and they would be forced to live at the “mercy” of big corporations. Whereas the government has tried to allay the fears of the farmers by saying that the three farms laws will bring better opportunities and help them usher in new technologies in agriculture.