As the farmers protest against the farm laws introduced by the Centre, Congress' Manish Tewari has shared a picture wherein the farmers are serving food to the security forces at the Delhi border. In a tweet, he requested the Prime Minister to initiate a talk with the farmers and hailed the spirit of 'Punjab, Punjabi & Punjabiyat'.
Punjab and Haryana farmers are protesting in Burari's Nirankari Samagam Ground on Day 3. However, an intense and tensed situation was witnessed at the Delhi border on Day 1 and Day 2. On Day 2, visuals at Shambhu, Punjab-Haryana border, showed protesting farmers picking up one of the metal barricades and tossing it off over a river-bridge, to which the police retaliated by lathi-charging, water-cannon and tear gas. With modified tractors and rations, farmers have said that they won't go back and more farmers will join. Farmers were also seen using a tractor to move a truck placed as a barricade to stop them from entering the capital at Tikri border near the Delhi-Bahadurgarh highway. In response to this, Police fired tear gas shell and water cannons. This has been ongoing since Wednesday, with Congress, AAP and Akali Dal condemning the Centre for stopping the farmers, while BJP has accused the Opposition of 'inciting innocent farmers'.
After the battle serving food to the adversary. This is the spirit of Punjab, Punjabi & Punjabiyat . How can anyone stop them or defeat them ever ?— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) November 28, 2020
Listen to them , talk to them @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/WW2G11WyEI
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has made arrangements for thousands of farmers marching to Delhi in protest against the farm laws, said party spokesperson Raghav Chadha on Friday. The Arvind Kejriwal-led government did the arrangements after the Centre allowed the farmers to demonstrate at the Nirankari Samagam Ground in Burari. The AAP Spokesperson also asserted that the Delhi government stands with the protesting farmers and will ensure that they are taken care of. He also criticised the Centre for urging the Delhi government to allow converting grounds into temporary jails. Chadha highlighted that the demand rejected by the Kejriwal government implies that AAP stands with the farmers of the country.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar did not prepone the date of talks with farm unions and reiterated that farmers should talk to the Centre on December 3. The Union Minister's invite came even as the situation at the Delhi border has been tense as thousands of farmers from Haryana, Punjab and neighbouring states marched towards the national capital. Tomar also appealed the farmers to call off the agitation in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the winter season.
Farmers' union had earlier met with the Centre at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on November 13 to discuss the contentious farm laws. Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar represented Centre and had hoped to 'clear doubts' of the farmers before the festive season. However, the meeting which lasted nearly seven hours, failed to provide a breakthrough and ended inconclusively. Following the talks, farmers called-off the Rail Roko Andolan for a period of 15 days but remain stern in their call to protest in New Delhi.
Meanwhile, Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh said that the Centre should immediately initiate talks with the Unions. The Punjab CM has asked as to why is the Centre waiting till December 3 when matters are tensed at the borders on Friday. He also said that the Central government must accept farmers' demand for assured MSP.
The Centre promulgated three ordinances affecting agriculture. Agriculture foodstuff including cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions, and potato are to be deregulated while stock limits were to be imposed only under extreme conditions, under the amendment to the Essential Commodities act. The Farmers' produce trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act was to enable better price realisation for farmers by attracting investments - making the agriculture sector competitive.
Under the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm services ordinance, 2020, it provided a framework for the protection and empowerment of farmers with reference to the sale and purchase of farm products overriding all state APMC laws. State governments in Punjab, Rajasthan have passed laws annulling the Centre's laws.