A group of 200 farmers reached the Jantar Mantar in the national capital of Delhi on Thursday, July 22, to launch their agitation against the three contentious farm laws that were passed by the Union government last year. On Wednesday, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal gave permission for the Jantar Mantar demonstration on the condition that a maximum of 200 people will be allowed to protest till August 9, between 11 am and 5 pm. On the first day of the 'Kisan Sansad' (Farmerâ€™s Parliament), the protesting farmers discussed the farm laws, the Mandi Act, rolling back of the three farm laws, besides demanding MPs to discuss the farmers' issues during the ongoing Monsoon Session of the Parliament.
This is the first time since the violence in the national capital during a tractor rally on January 26 that the authorities have granted permission to the protesting farmer unions to hold a demonstration in the city. Thousands of farmers from across the country have been agitating at three Delhi border points â€” Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur â€” against the three farm laws, arguing that the proposed laws intend to do away with the minimum support price (MRP) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations. Over 10 rounds of talks with the government, which has been projecting the laws at major agricultural reforms, have failed to break the deadlock between the two sides.
The Kisan Sansad was divided into three sessions on Wednesday, with each having a separate topic. "At the 'Kisan Sansad', we will discuss the three farm laws we are fighting against. These black laws were passed without any discussion in Parliament. We will reject these laws through the 'Kisan Sansad'," said Farmer leader Hannan Mollah said. He added that the farmers had written to all MPs to raise their demands, but alleged that Parliament was not taking up their issues.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said, "We have issued a whip to all the MPs to raise the issue of farm laws in the Parliament. If they don't raise our issues, the farmers will protest against them in their respective parliamentary constituencies." He said that farmers have gathered at the Jantar Mantar to run a parallel 'Sansad,' because the farm issues are not being discussed in the Parliament.
"We have come here to make our voices stronger. The people of this country are aware of what the farmers have gone through in the past few months," Tikait added
Several non-BJP MPs, especially from the southern part of the country, came to show their solidarity with the agitating farmers, echoing their demand to repeal the three farm laws.
(PTI/ IANS inputs)