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Farmers’ protest intensifies against Centre’s farm laws

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After a three-hour closure of the Delhi-Jaipur highway due to the tractor march initiated by farmers protesting against the contentious farm laws from Shahjahanpur at the Rajasthan-Haryana border, the highway has been partially opened.  Notably, Shahjahanpur is located 120 km from Delhi and a group of 800-900 farmers led by Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav participated in the march.

The marching farmers had to stop at Rewari on the Haryana border, where the police have put up blockades. Another group of protesting farmers is trying to march towards the Haryana border from Rajasthan’s Neemrana.  A section of farmers from the Congress ruled-state have decided they would give some more time to the Centre before escalating their protest.

Meanwhile, security has been tightened at Delhi borders after the farmers’ call to intensify the protest against the Centre.

BJP-ally joins protest in Rajasthan

Farmers in Rajasthan blocked highways at several places on Saturday to protest against the Centre’s new agri laws, with BJP-ally Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) MP Hanuman Beniwal joining one such demonstration.

Terming the new farm laws as “anti-farmer”, Beniwal, the convenor of RLP, said if Prime Minister Narendra Modi is equally concerned about the farmers, he should implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission. He also reiterated that he would withdraw from the NDA if talks do not turn in favour of farmers.

Beniwal along with his supporters also announced that they would move towards the Rajasthan-Delhi border to protest against the new farm laws. Addressing a ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’ organized at Kotputli, Beniwal said the Centre did not hold discussions with stakeholders before bringing the farm laws.

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“When the three bills were brought, they did not talk to anyone. We are also a part of the NDA. We are also the sons of farmers. They should have talked to us. They should have told us that they are bringing such a bill for farmers. I do not know who drafted the bills… They were brought and passed,” Beniwal said.

Doors open for talks, says Centre

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday said that doors are open for talks with the protesting farmers. Notably, despite multiple requests by Union ministers to call off the protests, the farmers are adamant that the contentious farm laws enacted by the Centre should be withdrawn. However, the Centre is not ready for the same.

“We are keeping a close eye on the circumstances regarding the farmers’ protest. The doors for talks are open,” Javadekar said.

Top cop resigns in Punjab in support of farmers

Punjab’s deputy inspector general (prisons) Lakhminder Singh Jakhar resigned from service in support of farmers protesting against three new farm laws. Lakhminder Jakhar said he tendered his resignation to the Punjab government on Saturday.

Punjab DIG (Prisons) Lakhminder Singh Jakhar wrote to State Principal Secy Home tendering his resignation.

 

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