Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal, on Friday, accused the Union government of being indifferent towards farmers despite a number of them dying in protests against the Centre's three farm laws.
Participating in a protest against the three farm laws, Badal said, "The central government is indifferent even after the death of a number of farmers during the protest. But, we will continue our fight until the three farm laws are repealed." She also accused the Union government of not doing anything to support the farmers since they started their protests, last year. “The Centre says 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas', but what about farmers? The government has not done anything for the progress and support of farmers,” Badal said.
Shiromani Akali Dal’s general secretary, Prem Singh Chandumajra had announced on Thursday that the party will be holding a protest from Gurudwara Rakabganj to Parliament in Delhi on Friday to mark the completion of one year of continuing protests against the three new farm laws. Delhi Police issued the party with a notice to not hold the protest in the city, however, the SAD president and party workers reached the site in large numbers to protest. The protest was organised with the aim of pressuring the Central Government to rescind the three farm laws.
Farmer unions have been staging protests across north India, specifically in Delhi, since the Centre enacted three new farm laws: Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. Farmer union leaders and the Union government have tried to negotiate a settlement on several occasions but no agreement has been reached yet.
Farmer unions from major farming states, Punjab and Haryana, have argued that the farm laws enforced by the Centre will remove the minimum support price (MSP) system. They fear that corporate companies will slowly take over the market and this will end up hurting the farmers. The dismantling of the mandi system will further hurt their profits as they will not get an assured price for the crops. The farm unions insist on an assurance from the government that the MSP system will not be removed.