Farmers' Delhi Chalo Agitation hits the National Capital

February 13, 2024 20:37
Farmers' Delhi Chalo Agitation hits the National Capital

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Farmers' Delhi Chalo Agitation hits the National Capital:- Rakesh Tikait, a prominent figure in the protests against the government's "black farm laws" in 2020/21, has expressed support for the second 'Delhi Chalo' movement. The agitation commenced on Tuesday, with tear gas being deployed at Shambhu on the Punjab-Haryana border, leading to clashes between farmers and police. Mr. Tikait has issued a cautionary message to the ruling BJP, who are trying to contain the protests that have erupted just weeks before a general election. He stated, "if the government creates any issues for these farmers, we are not far behind. We stand in solidarity with them." Mr. Tikait is the leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, an organization based in Uttar Pradesh that was established by former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh. This month, Mr. Singh was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi praising his commitment to the nation's farmers. The BKU is one of the larger farmer federations in the country, and if it joins the ongoing agitation, the magnitude of the challenge faced by the government will significantly escalate.

Protests are currently taking place nationwide, prompting the government to engage in meaningful discussions with farmers. It is crucial that while engaging in these talks, the government treats the farmers with respect and takes their concerns seriously. The leader of the farmers' movement, Rakesh Tikait, has recently called for a 'Bharat Bandh' on February 16 to further emphasize the demands of the farmers. Last year, Mr. Tikait had warned that if the demand for a legal guarantee on minimum support prices was not addressed, a larger agitation than the one in Delhi would be initiated. This sentiment was echoed in his recent statement in Haryana's Karnal, where he emphasized the need for a movement bigger than the one in Delhi in order to secure a law guaranteeing MSP. The farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' 2.0 movement commenced today, and unfortunately, violence erupted at the Shambhu border crossing. Despite no immediate provocation, a number of shells were fired, marking the first signs of violence. Among the farmers' demands, the enactment of a law guaranteeing MSP is of utmost importance, as it serves as a vital financial support system for farmers during uncertain market conditions.

There were also similar demands made during protests four years back. Additional important requests include the reversal of the Electricity Act of 2020, payment to farmers who lost their lives in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri, and the dismissal of legal charges against individuals involved in the previous protest. On Monday evening, two government ministers, including junior Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda, engaged in discussions with farmer leaders to address these and other demands. Some advancements were achieved.

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