Farm ordinances: Farmers hold protest in Punjab, block roads

by Times of India

CHANDIGARH: Farmers in Punjab blocked three roads, including the Amritsar-Delhi national highway, and held agitations at several places on Monday against three

farm ordinances

promulgated by the Centre.

While different farmers’ outfits raised slogans against the Centre for bringing the “anti-farmer” ordinances and demanded their rollback, commuters faced inconvenience due to the road blockade as the authorities diverted traffic.

The farmers are demanding a roll back of the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.

These ordinances seek to provide barrier-free trade for farmers’ produce outside notified

farm mandis

, and empower farmers to enter into farming agreements with private players prior to production for sale of agri-produce.

Members of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee blocked the Amritsar-Delhi national highway at the Beas bridge, about 40 km from Amritsar. They also blocked traffic at Harike headworks in Tarn Taran and on Tanda-Hargobindpur bridge in Hoshiarpur.

President of the outfit Satnam Singh Pannu said they would continue with their road blockades till their demand was accepted.

The Centre on Monday introduced three bills in the Lok Sabha on the farm sector asserting the

Minimum Support Price

(MSP) for agriculture produce is here to stay. 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.

Earlier during the day, Pannu said the farm ordinances would “destroy” the farming community and they should be withdrawn.

Farmers under the banner of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee held protests at Patiala, Barnala, Moga, Phagwara and Amritsar. At a gathering in Patiala, AIKCC (Punjab chapter) president Darshan Pal said angry farmers took to the streets to protest the ordinances.

He said farmers would be left to the “mercy” of big corporates if the ordinances were passed.

The Congress-led government in Punjab, has described these ordinances as a “blatant attack” on the federal structure. On August 28, the state Assembly had passed a resolution, rejecting these ordinances.

Chief Minister

Amarinder Singh

has said these ordinances are not only against the interest of farmers and landless workers and time-tested agriculture marketing system established in the state, but are also against the constitution.

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