The passage of farm bills despite strong resistance from farmers as well as the Opposition rocked the Parliament on Tuesday, 22 September, as Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar accused the Congress and other parties of misleading farmers.
Not only are the bills being criticised by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) opponents, but many allies of the NDA too, have demanded that they be revoked.
From Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) to several farmers’ unions, protesters took to streets across Uttar Pradesh, where they were charged with batons and faced with detentions by the UP Police.
Demonstrations in Lucknow, Kannauj
Chanting anti-Modi and anti-BJP slogans, protesters took to streets in UP’s capital Lucknow, led by the SP, the AAP and farmers’ unions. In Lucknow’s Gomati Nagar, SP workers also protested rising unemployment and law and order situation in the state. SP workers also clashed with the UP Police in Lucknow’s Balrampur.
SP leader and former state minister Abhishek Mishra said, “Our party has held demonstrations in every district of the state. The corruption in the state while buying COVID-19 equipment and farm bills are the two major agendas of our protests. The Centre wants to enslave the farmers at the hands of corporates.”
Mishra alleged that SP workers who were peacefully protesting in Kannauj, Maharajganj and Banda were lathi-charged by the police.
SP workers blocking the streets in Kanpur were also detained by the police. Protests against the bills were also seen in UP’s Ghatampur.
AAP in Forefront of UP Protests
As AAP workers protested outside the UP Vidhan Sabha, the area was sealed and several demonstrators were detained by the police.
“The Modi-Yogi governments want to suppress the voices of protesters but we will retaliate strongly,” UP AAP leader Mahesh Tyagi said.
Protests in Etawah, Ghatampur
Farmers in Etawah who took to the streets said that the bills will destroy them, lead to the farms being taken over by corporates and will risk the existence of local mandis altogether.
UP Kisan Sabha leader Mukut Singh said that the agricultural sector is being handed over to the corporates by the government. He said that the government has backstabbed the Constitution, the Parliament and the farmers of the country by passing the bills in the Rajya Sabha without division of votes.
The BJP has asked its MPs and MLAs to apprise people of the positive changes that the bills will bring in the agricultural sector and allay the fears of the farmers in their constituencies regarding them. BJP leader Swatantra Dev Singh said that the party will foil the plans of ‘anti-farmer’ parties like Congress and SP via communication with the people through social media and other means.
(The story was first published by Quint Hindi.)
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