Farmers across Punjab, Haryana and parts of western Uttar Pradesh protested against the farm bills introduced by the ruling government. Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to pacify the agriculturists by accusing the opposition parties of spreading “lies” and misleading the farmers for their own political benefit, the anger of the Indian Kisan spread on the road.
In the shortened session in the Parliament, the lower house and the upper house approved
- The Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020
- The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and,
- The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020,
This led to a protest by farmer bodies and opposition political parties. The primary points of contention are the absence of any mention of a minimum support price (the government-decided floor) and the freedom given to private players and others to operate in areas beyond the physical boundaries of Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs).
Close to 250 farmer bodies came together under the banner of All India Kisan Sangharsh Committee on Friday. These farmer bodies went for a nationwide strike between 10am and 4pm. They had termed these new agricultural laws as “anti-farmers” and asked the government either to withdraw these legislations or at least provide minimum support price (MSP) protection in them.
The government has maintained that MSPs will stay and there was no reason for farmers to worry. It has already announced MSPs for some winter-sown(Kharif) crops to reassure farmers who continue to insist that the support price protection be written into the law.