Lucknow/Noida, September 25
Farmers and agitators held protests across Uttar Pradesh on Friday against the farm Bills passed by Parliament, alleging that the “anti-farmer” legislations are meant to benefit multinational companies and industrialists.
Farmers under the banner of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), Samajwadi party and the Congress held protests in various districts of the state.
Hundreds of farmers sat on protests on the UP-Delhi border after they were stopped by police personnel from moving towards the National Capital, disrupting traffic in Noida and Ghaziabad.
A heavy deployment of police personnel in riot gear was made to ward off any disturbance during the protest, a part of the nationwide demonstration against the three farm Bills passed during the monsoon session.
Some organisations allege the Bills are “anti-farmer”, but the government argues that the farmers have been “misled” and the Bills actually free them to sell their produce outside the APMC mandis.
Samajwadi Party members held protest in all the districts of the state and sent a memoranda addressed to Governor Anandiben Patel, requesting her to ensure that these are not implemented in the state as they are “anti-farmer and anti-worker”.
“On the directives of party’s national president, SP workers sent memoranda to the governor thorough their respective district magistrates, demanding that the anti-farmer and anti-workers bills should not be implemented in the state,” SP chief spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhury said.
In a statement issued here, party chief Akhilesh Yadav said his party has always been at the forefront of raising issues of public interest and always stood against the ruling party for their anti-people stand. He said in the present regime while youth is unemployed, big capitalists have their eyes on the farmers’ land.
“Laws are being made in Parliament only for multinational companies and a few industrialists. The BJP government has first introduced a Bill for exploitation of farmers to benefit capitalists and now a Bill of labour exploitation to benefit industrialists. They brought the Bills without taken any suggestions,” Akhilesh said.
Congress workers also held protests against the three Bills at several places while terming them “anti-farmer”.
In Noida, the farmers were at the Noida Gate in Sector 14A near Chilla, at the UP-Delhi border, where they were stopped by the Gautam Buddh Nagar police around 12 noon, officials said.
The farmers under the BKU banner alleged that the Bills were “anti-farmer”.
“Today’s protest is part of a bigger statewide and nationwide agitation by farmers against the farm-sector-related Bills passed in Parliament recently. The farmers are opposed to these ‘black laws’. Our demand is that a law should be made that fixes the MSP (minimum support price) as the lowest amount for purchasing crops from farmers,” BKU’s Meerut Zone president Pawan Khatana told PTI.
Barricades came up amid heavy deployment of police personnel at the Noida-Delhi border where the farmers, who travelled on foot, two-wheelers and tractor trolleys, staged a demonstration and held a ‘panchayat’ addressed by regional farm leaders and BKU office-bearers.
The gathering disrupted traffic movement on the key road between Noida and Delhi.
In Ghaziabad, the protestors led by BKU’s state unit vice president Rajbir Singh and secretary Harendra Nehra submitted a memorandum outlining their demands to Additional District Magistrate (City) Shailendra Kumar.
Some members of BKU (Ambawat) staged a protest march and raised slogans against the Bills and handed over a memorandum to Assistant Superintendent of Police Keshav Kumar near Bhopura trisection at Loni road.
In Gorakhpur division, including Gorakhpur, Deoria, Kushinagar and Maharajganj districts, the BKU, the Congress and the Samajwadi Party workers held protests and demanded that the government roll back the Bills immediately.
In Gorakhpur, BKU and the Congress party held a demonstration at Rani Laxmibai Park in Nagar Nigam campus. When the Congress workers tried to move towards the collectorate, police stopped them near the Nagar Nigam gate.
In Deoria , BKU, SP and the Communist parties along with others held a protest at Subhash Chowk. They were also stopped by the police when they tried to move towards the collectorate. Over two dozen protesters also submitted a memorandum to the district magistrate.
In Kushinagar, the demonstration was held at the district headquarters and in Maharajganj, protestors marched from Anandnagar Sugar Mill to Vishnu Mandir Chauraha at Anand Nagar in Farenda Tehsil and submitted a memorandum to officials.
In Jalaun, BKU activists held a demonstration by blocking traffic jam at the toll plaza on the national highway.
The agitating farmers also submitted a memorandum, addressed to the Prime Minister, to the district administration officials.
Due to the agitation, traffic snarls were witnessed on the national highway, while the movement of vehicles was stopped. The traffic was affected for over half an hour.
Opposition parties and farmers in some states have been opposing the farm Bills but the government has assured that the legislation would benefit crop-growers.
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, now await Presidential assent. PTI