MP 'chakka jam': Farm outfits, Congress workers block roads

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Bhopal, Feb 6 (PTI) Farm outfits and Congress workers in Madhya Pradesh took part in the 'chakka jam' (road blockade) stir called by various groups in protest against the Centre's new agri marketing laws and blocked roads at various places, leading to traffic snarls.

They blocked national highway number 12, going past capital Bhopal, for two hours.

Senior MP Congress leader PC Sharma said his party colleagues took part in such protests across the state.

'The Centre should withdraw these black laws which allow the entry of corporates in the farm sector,' Sharma told PTI.

In Guna, the protest, at Bilonia bypass on Agra-Mumbai Road, was led by party veteran Digvijaya Singh.

'The new laws will destroy mandis, rendering people working there jobless,' he said.

In Gwalior, protesters blocked roads in Badagaon, Rayru and Mohna, while the site of the demonstration in Mhow was Dreamland Square.

Meanwhile, MP agriculture minister Kamal Patel said the Congress and Communist parties were misleading farmers.

'These parties and middlemen do not want the country's farmers to become self-reliant,' he said, and added that the minimum support price mechanism would continue even with the introduction of the new laws.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting at Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh demanding the 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 laws will ensure better opportunities for farmers and bring in new technologies in agriculture. PTI COR ADU BNM NSK NSK