Protesting Punjab Farmers Feel Cheated, Meeting with Modi Govt Fails

Protesters during the farm protests in September 2020 are demanding the removal of PM Modi to save India from the impending disaster. Photo: Students Group NSUI
Protesters during the farm protests in September 2020 are demanding the removal of PM Modi to save India from the impending disaster. Photo: Students Group NSUI

By RMN News Service

A seven-member committee of protesting farmers of Punjab today walked out of the meeting with the government representatives who wanted to convince them about the benefits of the new farm laws being imposed by the PM Narendra Modi’s government.

Leaders of 29 farmer unions ended their meeting abruptly with the agriculture secretary, saying that the bureaucrat is too junior in the government to take any decision on farmers demands. They also complained that the agriculture minister did not attend the meeting, although they were promised that he would meet the farmers.

The angry farmers tore the copies of the new farming legislation outside Delhi’s Krishi Bhawan (office of the Central agriculture ministry) and said they will intensify their protest to get the new farm laws repealed.

Of late, the Modi government has passed 3 connected Bills to make them laws. These are: the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill.

Currently, hundreds of thousands of farmers in India are defying the safe-distancing coronavirus guidelines to protest on roads against the Modi government and the new laws. Farmers fear that these laws will deprive them of their farming rights and they will lose their lands which will be grabbed by Modi’s capitalist friends.

Meanwhile, the All India Kisan Sangarsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) – which is a pan-Indian umbrella organization comprising 250 farmers’ organizations – has supported the decision of the Punjab farmers to end their meeting with the representatives of the Modi government.

The AIKSCC said in a statement that it was a sham meeting called by the Union agriculture secretary to create a false impression that the government is engaging with farmers when the government is actually ready to enforce the black anti-farmer laws.

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Rakesh Raman