Chandigarh, Sep 15 (PTI) Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Gurnam Singh on Tuesday said that farmers from Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan will hold a protest on Wednesday outside Parliament to protest against the three farm-sector bills, introduced to ratify the three ordinances promulgated earlier.
The BKU leader from Haryana asserted that the farmer will not allow the government to go ahead with the “anti-farmers” move.
“Tomorrow, we will protest outside Parliament. We will wear black clothes during our protest. Farmers from Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan will take part in it,” Singh said.
The Centre on Monday introduced three bills in Lok Sabha to enact laws on the three farm-sector ordinances, with Union minister Tomar asserting that they will help farmers get a remunerative price for their produce as well as private investments and technology.
Tomar said the proposed laws will enable barrier-free trade in agricultural produce, and also empower farmers to engage with investors of their choice.
The three farm sector bills introduced by the Centre to replace the ordinances promulgated by the government earlier are 'The Farmers' Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Bill', 'The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill' and 'The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill'.
The opposition parties have alleged that the new laws will undermine the safety net provided to the farmers by the MSP system and will lead to their exploitation by big companies.
Talking of his plans to protest outside Parliament, Singh said he was to meet Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar as part of a farmers’ delegation in Delhi on Tuesday, but decided not to go ahead it at the last moment “after BJP MP Dharambir Singh told me that the Centre will not withdraw these ordinances'.
Haryana BJP chief Om Prakash Dhankar along with state Agriculture Minister J P Dalal and the three MPs who were part of the panel constituted to seek feedback from farmers, besides some farmers' representatives, met Tomar in Delhi on Tuesday.
Dhankar who led the delegation apprised Tomar of the report prepared by the three-member committee.
An eight-point suggestion by the farmers was presented to Tomar in the shape of a memorandum, stipulating that the arrangements for the procurement of grain by the government from 'mandis' and the MSP mechanism should not be tinkered with.
Both Dhankar and Dalal later said the 'mandis' and the MSP mechanism were there to stay and those trying to spread “falsehood” in this regard were doing so out of their vested interests.
However, Gurnam Singh told reporters in Delhi that “if the three ordinances are implemented, the country will be destroyed.” Singh claimed that only a few capitalists will gain under the new system leading to “exploitation of the farmers”.
On why he did not meet Tomar, Singh said, “We had been invited for talks with the Union minister Tomar and MP Dharambir Singh had extended the invite to us. When we met Dharambir Singh in the morning at his Delhi residence, he said the ordinances will not be withdrawn and the Centre's stand remains unchanged.” “We told him that in such a situation there is no meaning for talks after which we decided not to participate in the talks,” he added.
High drama was witnessed when heated arguments broke out between some farmers' representatives as some decided to stay out of the meeting.
Gurnam Singh said, “An impression was being created that farmers' bodies are not united and that some of them are supporting the government on these ordinances. I want to tell all concerned that in Haryana 17 farmers' bodies have taken up the fight against these ordinances”.
“Five representatives from these 17 farmers' organisations had come for talks and none among us went when we were told that the Centre will not change its stand.
“However, some (farmer leaders) who went for talks despite being told of the government's stand on ordinances did so because of their vested interest. They were the ones who did not even take part in the Pipli agitation, they are trying to falsely project as if the government has agreed to their demands,” said Singh.
On Monday, the three-member committee of BJP MPs from Haryana had submitted a report after having a dialogue with farmers and seeking their feedback on the three-farm related ordinances, which have now been introduced as bills in the parliament.
Close on the heels of the BKU and other farmers' organisations' protest in Kurukshetra's Pipli against the bill on farm ordinances on Thursday, Dhankar had constituted a three-member panel comprising BJP MPs Dharambir Singh, Brijendra Singh and Nayab Singh Saini.
The ruling BJP in Haryana has accused the opposition of trying to create doubt among farmers about the Centre's three farm ordinances, now bills, for their political interests. PTI SUN VSD RAX RAX