Award wapsi threats, political war of words continue on Day 11 of farmers protest
First Published Dec 6, 2020, 4:17 PM IST
It's day 11 of the farmers agitation against the three farm laws passed by the Narendra Modi government, and no resolution seems to be in sight just yet.
The fifth round of talks with representatives of 40 farmer unions that was held at Vigyan Bhawan yielded no results as Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar's assurances that the existing APMC will not be weakened by the new laws.
The next round of talks will be held on December 9
Boxer Vijender Singh joined the protest at the Singhu border to support the farmers today. Addressing the farmers, the boxer who contested the Lok Sabha elections from Delhi on a Congress ticket threatened to return his Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award if the government does not withdraw the new agricultural laws.
Police and paramilitary forces, meanwhile, are preparing to deal with the emergency situation at the Singhu border.
'Real farmers are working in their farms'
Earlier today, Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary accused Opposition parties of instigating the farmers.
"The government has said that MSP will continue. We can give it in writing too. I think Congress governments (in states) and the Opposition are trying to instigate farmers. Nation's farmers are in favour of these laws, but some political people are trying to add fuel to the fire."
He added, "I have faith in Prime Minister Modi's leadership and farmers. I am sure that farmers will never make a decision that will cause unrest anywhere in the country. These laws have provided freedom to them. I don't think the real farmers, who are working in their farms, are bothered about it. Farmers should pay attention to how the issue is being given political color."
'Modi Government acted in haste'
The opposition, meanwhile, continued to target the Modi government on the farmers' agitation. Some parties like Congress, AAP and TRS have also backed the Bharat Bandh called by farmers on December 8.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar said, "Farmers from Punjab and Haryana are the main producers of wheat and paddy, and they are protesting. If the situation is not resolved soon, we will see farmers from across the country joining them. When the Bill was being passed, we had requested govt that they shouldn't be in a hurry and that it should be sent to a select committee and a discussion is needed. But that didn't happen and the Bill was passed in haste. Now govermentis facing problems because of that haste."
Telangana Chief Minister and TRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao extended his total support to Bharat Bandh. He said that the TRS rank and file would participate actively in the proposed bandh.
MLC and KCR's daughter K Kavitha said, "We had opposed the Bills in Parliament. We continue to do so. MSP hasn't been assured in any of these Bills. Also, if mandi structure is dismantled, there's no alternative structure in this country. So farmers are insecure. The TRS will support the farmer' Bandh call."
Actor Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam also stated that it will take part in the ongoing farmers protest. Issuing a statement, the party said that a 10-member team will reach Delhi soon to join the farmers who have been camping at various borders of the national capital seeking repeal of three farm laws enacted in September.
Transporters to join Bharat Bandh
Expressing solidarity with farmers protesting in Delhi, the Indian Tourist Transporters Association and the Delhi Goods Transport Association have called for a strike on December 8.
ITTA President Satish Sherawat said, "51 unions decided to support the farmers. Farming and transportation are like two sons of one father."