Perturbed by the state of affairs which has shaken the capital, 2000 pro-bill farmers from Uttar Pradesh have come out in support of the farm laws. No doubt anxious that the political vendetta of a few influential groups might irrevocably reverse the reform trajectory that agriculture has embarked upon, a 5-member delegation of HMKS farmers met Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to express its support to the new laws.
The pro-bill farmers, under the banner of the Hind Mazdoor Kisan Samiti (HMKS), arrived in Indirapuram in Ghaziabad yesterday and held a rally to support the farm laws.
Satish Kumar, secretary of HMKS said, “It seems that opposition to the three laws has some political motive behind it. When the Prime Minister has several times said that the new laws will not harm the interests of farmers, other groups are continuing to oppose the laws. However, we have no personal differences with them as they are also farmers like us.”
HMKS pro-bill farmers were intending to go to Delhi with a rally of around 300 tractors but were stopped and thereon, a 5-member delegation was allowed to pass through. The delegation met the Agriculture Minister, expressed its support to the farm laws and submitted a memorandum of demands for the centre to incorporate.
After meeting Agriculture Minister, Satish Kumar said, “We met the Union Minister and extended our support to the government. We also handed over a memorandum of our demands in which we said that the new laws would end the exploitation by middlemen. We supported the continuation of the minimum support price (MSP), demanded that it be hiked and that the farmer should have the right to sell their produce anywhere.”
The memorandum also said that under the contract farming law, the buyer’s right should be over produce and not the field. Kumar further said, “We also submitted some of our issues pertaining to waiver of electricity bill, timely purchase of crop so that we can prepare for the next crop in time and also get our payments in time. We also submitted that cases against farmers for the burning of stubble should be taken back.”
Amit Singh, the treasurer of HMKS said that the minister has assured them that their demands would be met.
Commenting on the meeting of pro-bill farmers’ delegation with Union Agricultural Minister and taking a jibe at Congress’ attempts to vilify the farm laws for their vested interests and political motivations, BJP leader Swatantra Dev Singh tweeted out, “Joyous on seeing the fulfilment of their decades-old demand, farmers have taken out a rally in support of the agriculture laws by riding on thousands of tractors from Meerut to Ghaziabad.”
दशकों पुरानी मांग पूरी होने की खुशी में किसानों ने मेरठ से गाजियाबाद तक हज़ारों ट्रैक्टरों पर सवार हो कर कृषि बिल के समर्थन में रैली निकाली है।
— Swatantra Dev Singh (@swatantrabjp) December 21, 2020
Recognising the extent of misinformation and misrepresentation galore, Amit said, “Those who are now opposing the farm laws had initially supported the laws. We maintain that rumours are being spread among farmers that their land will be taken over. However, it is not so. Even the Prime Minister has several times assured that the MSP will remain. However, some people are trying to mislead farmers.”
In a civilised manner, the pro-bill farmers’ rally ended on Sunday night itself, and the farmers went back to their respective districts. The rally indicates how dissent and discussions are dealt with in a functioning democracy. Though these farmers did have some apprehensions and objections with the farm laws, they systematically met with the agriculture minister and proposed revisions as per their needs. This is in striking contrast to the other set of politically motivated farmers’ protests which have taken the capital hostage and become a nuisance to the common people.