Congress is equally at fault: Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee

Pandher said that these laws were brought by Congress and the farmers are not in favour of anyone

Farmers protests

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Dismissing the rumours that the Congress party are supporting the farmers in their protest, Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee General Secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher on Tuesday said that the grand old party is equally responsible as much as the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Pandher said that these laws were brought by Congress and the farmers are not in favour of anyone.
While addressing a press conference before heading towards the national capital as a part of the 'Delhi Chalo' protest by farmers, Pandher said, "Congress party does not support us, we consider Congress equally responsible as much as the BJP. These laws were brought by Congress itself. We are not in favour of anyone, we raise the voice of farmers."
"We are not left, CPI, and CPM who ruled Bengal, made 20 mistakes, what kind of revolution came from there in West Bengal, we are not on anyone's side, we are farmers and labourers. We will appeal to our people, whether they are singers of Punjab or the country or intellectuals, NRI brothers, whether it is another civil society that also includes journalists, this is not just our issue. In this big movement, it is not just us, this is the demand of 140 crore countrymen," he added.
The farmer leader alleged that the government wanted to delay their protest.
"We said that we will keep the doors open for discussions. If the government wants, then it can make an announcement anytime. However, they only want to delay our protest. The union minister said they would form a committee for the MSP Act. We told them that a legal surety should be given about this. We said that the government should give us an argument instead of forming a committee," Pandher said.
He also alleged that the police are harassing the people in the villages of Haryana and Punjab while expressing concern over the situation in these states.
"We presented the position of Haryana before them that you have turned Haryana into the valley of Kashmir, you are sending police to every village in Haryana. You have sent water cannons to every village of Haryana. Farmers and relatives of every village of Haryana are being harassed," Pandher said.
"It is being said that your son is doing MBBS, they will not let him do it, the kind of degree your son should get. If your brother is working at home, we will fire him from his job and cancel your passport. Then other types of harassment are also more and more, whatever kind we say, it is more and more. See it seems that Punjab and Haryana are not two states from India but an international border, by what we are seeing now," he added.
The farmers have put forth 12 demands before the central government for which they're marching to Delhi.
The protest this time has been called by Sanyukt Kisan Morcha and Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee led by farmer union leaders Jagjeet Singh Dallewal and Sarwan Singh Pandher.
According to the protesting farmers, the centre promised them better crop prices after which they ended the 2021 protest.
They are demanding to enact a law guaranteeing a minimum support price (MSP) for all crops, as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission report.
They are also demanding a complete debt waiver and a scheme to provide pensions to farmers and farm labourers.
The farmers have also urged to scrap the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 and are demanding to reintroduce the Land Acquisition Act of 2013, ensuring consent from farmers and compensation at 4 times the collector rate.
Further, they are demanding to punish those involved in the Lakhimpur Kheri killings.
An appeal to provide 200 days of employment per year and a daily wage of Rs 700 under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (MGNREGA) linking it with farming has also been made by the farmers.
Also, a demand to provide compensation to the families of farmers who died during the protests in 2021 and a job for any family member has been put in place.
Meanwhile, massive security arrangements have been put in place on the borders of the national capital because of the 'Delhi Chalo' protest.
To ensure law and order, Delhi police have already enforced Section 144, restricting entry of tractor trolleys and large assemblies.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 13 2024 | 11:19 AM IST

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