NEW DELHI—Farm leaders demanding repeal of three controversial farm laws passed by the Central government on Friday gave a call for “Bharat Bandh” (all India shutdown) on December 8.
Addressing mediapersons at Singhu border where majority of the farmers from Punjab, Haryana and several other states had assembled for the last one week, farm leaders from 14 states made it clear that they did not want amendment in the laws but complete withdrawal of the three laws because these laws were against the interest of farming community.
“Nothing less than total withdrawal of the laws is acceptable to the farmers”, Yogendra Yadav of Jai Kissan Andolan, Hannan Molla of All India Kisan Mahasabha, Balbir Singh Rajewal of Bharatiya Kisan Union from Punjab, Gurnam Singh Chaduni from Haryana Bharatiya Kisan Union, Satnam Singh Ajnala, President of the Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, Punjab and Harinder Singh Lakhowal, among others, announced at the press conference.
Farm leaders said that the government, during the talks, had agreed to amend the recently passed laws. “But the entire laws are anti-farmer and hence, we demand that these be withdrawn in toto”, they said. They said that they would further intensify their agitation if their deamnds were not met.
They also said that the government was trying to project the demand as issue of farmers from Punjab only and to create a split in the farming community. “It is an issue of all farmers all over the country and not of Punjab farmers alone”, the leaders said. They said that the government should abstain from dividing the farmers with regard to the Farm Laws.
They said that all the major roads and highways all over the country would be blocked on December 8. Farmers said that they will occupy all highway toll gates across the country and not allow the government to collect toll as a part of the shutdown on December 8.
They said they will burn effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow at different places in the country.
Farmers from different states, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have blockaded the national capital for the last one week, making supplies of vegetables, fruit, milk and other commodities difficult.
Farmers fear that the laws passed in September this year might result in government not buying their produce at guaranteed rates or the minimum support price, leaving them at the mercy of the private players.