BKU (Lok Shakti) calls off protest in Noida following violence during tractor rally, its leaders meet Tomar

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Noida (UP), Jan 28 (PTI) The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lok Shakti) here on Thursday announced it was ending its protest against the new central farm laws. BKU (Lok Shakti) chief Sheoraj Singh made the announcement during a press conference here, a day after two other farmers' union ended their stir. 'The protest has been called off,' BKU (Lok Shakti) spokesperson Shailesh Kumar Giri told PTI. The farmers' union had been camping at the Dalit Prerna Sthal since December 2, demanding withdrawal of the three new farm laws, legalisation of minimum support price (MSP) for crops and implementation of the recommendation of Swaminathan Committee's report. BKU (Lok Shakti) met Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and said they ended their protest in the wake of the violence during farmers' tractor rally on Republic Day.

'We condemned the incident that took place on Republic Day. Looking at the tense situation and in the interest of the nation, we told the minister that we are withdrawing our protest,' BKU (Lok Shakti) national president Shouraj Singh told PTI after the meeting.

Separately, leaders of the BKU (Ekta) met Tomar and expressed concern over the farmers' protest turning violent and stressed on the need to re-initiate the dialogue to end the impasse.

Hukamchandra Sharma of BKU (Ekta) said his organisation had carried out rallies in Aligarh and Gautam Buddha Nagar of Uttar Pradesh against the farm laws in the last few months, but was not part of the protest at Delhi borders with other unions.

'We told the minister that farmers' leaders are generally peaceful people and the violence that took place was not right. We condemn it. The solution to this problem can be through dialogue and we are ready to be part of that solution,' he said.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting at Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh demanding rollback of the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the 'mercy' of big corporations.

However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture. PTI KIS/LUX SMN SMN