Social activist Anna Hazare on Sunday said he will go on a hunger strike in what would be his “last protest”, if his demands on matters concerning farmers are not met by the Union government by the end of January, reported PTI.
“The government is just giving empty promises due to which I do not have any trust left,” Hazare said, speaking to reporters in his village Ralegaon Siddhi in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. “Let’s see, what action the Centre takes on my demands. They have sought time for a month, so I have given them time till January-end. If my demands are not met, I will resume my hunger strike. This would be my last protest.”
Earlier this month, Hazare had observed a fast on December 8, in support of the Bharat Bandh called by farmer organisations demanding a repeal of the agriculture laws.
Then on December 14, he wrote to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar warning of a hunger strike if his demands like the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee’s recommendations on the agriculture sector and granting autonomy to the quasi-government body Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), were not accepted.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagade recently met Hazare to explain to him the details of the three farm laws introduced by the Centre, according to PTI.
Farm law protests
Tens of thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at key entry points to Delhi for over a month against the laws now, withstanding temperatures dropping to two to three degrees Celsius.
The farmers fear the agricultural reforms will weaken the minimum support price mechanism under which the government buys agricultural produce, will lead to the deregulation of crop-pricing, deny them fair remuneration for their produce and leave them at the mercy of corporations.
The government, on the other hand, maintains that the new laws will give farmers more options in selling their produce, lead to better pricing, and free them from unfair monopolies. The law passed in September are meant to overhaul antiquated procurement procedures and open up the market, the government has claimed.