New Delhi: Distressed about the Centre’s refusal to listen to their demands, a group of 30 protesting farmer unions from Punjab on Wednesday walked out of the meeting called by the Union Agriculture Ministry regarding the contentious farm laws. Also Read - Congress Calls For Nationwide Protest Against Hathras Incident, Farm Laws: Party Sources
The meeting ended abruptly as the farmers rose in anger, tore up copies of the new ordinances and demanded the presence of Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, while it was attended only by the agriculture secretary. Also Read - Farmer Outfits in Punjab to Intensify Stir Against New Farm Laws, Declare State-wide Protests on October 17
Raising slogans against the Modi government’s decision, the farmers’ body walked out of the hall, asserting that their agitation will continue till the farm laws are scrapped. Also Read - 'Farmers Gave Country Food Security, Modi Government Only Betrayed Them': Rahul Gandhi
“We weren’t satisfied with the discussions, so we walked out. We want these black laws to be scrapped. The Secretary said he will communicate our demands further,” a farmers’ union leader said, as quoted by news agency ANI.
“We walked out as no minister came for the meeting. We want these laws to be taken back,” said another leader.
Massive protests have been held for months against the three contentious farm bills passed in the Parliament, which became the law after the President’s assent. Farmers fear that these laws – the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020; the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 – will leave them at the mercy of big corporates and they will not even get the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their produce.
Opposition parties led by the Congress have joined the protests, criticising these legislations repeatedly, claiming these will only harm the interests of farmers and benefit corporates.
Meanwhile, the Modi government has asserted that the new farm laws will be beneficial for farmers and will increase their income.