Farmers on Sunday announced their plan to protest against the three new laws outside the Parliament during the Monsoon Session, which is likely to begin on July 19 and end on August 13, reported The Hindu.
Five members per organisation and at least 200 protestors will stage demonstrations every day outside the Parliament from July 22, said Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 40 farmers’ unions. The farmers had earlier planned to march to Parliament, but the plan was called off.
The farmer unions said that two days before the Parliament session starts, a letter will be sent to all Opposition MPs urging them to protest against the new farm laws, reported the Hindustan Times.
“We will ask the opposition MPs to raise the issue every day inside the House while we will sit outside in protest,” said Balbir Singh Rajewal, who leads one faction of the Bharatiya Kisan Union. “We will tell them not to benefit the Centre by walking out of a session. Don’t let the session run till the government addresses the issue.”
The farmer groups said they will intensify their protests, shift demonstrators from the Delhi borders along with their tractors close to the Parliament and organise countrywide demonstrations. “This is an ultimatum,” said farmer leader Gurnam Singh Charuni. “We can’t wait forever and we are being forced to move into the Capital.”
Thousands of farmers have camped outside Delhi since November, demanding that the central government repeal the three laws that open up the country’s agriculture markets to private companies. The farmers have hunkered down with supplies that they say will last them for months, and have resolved to not leave until their demands are met.
The protesting farmers said nothing other than repeal of the farm laws will be accepted. Farmer leader Darshan Pal said that protestors have asserted that making amendments to the laws would not work.
“The government has so far not given a single reason as to why these laws cannot and should not be repealed,” the Samyukta Kisan Morcha said, according to The Hindu. “We can only conclude that an elected government in the world’s largest democracy is playing ego games with the largest section of its citizens – farmers. And is preferring to choose the interests of crony capitalists over the annadaatas [farmers] of the country.”
Talks between farmers groups and the central government to resolve the protests came to a complete deadlock after farmers rejected the Centre’s offer to suspend the laws for two years. The last time both sides met was on January 22. Since then, most farmer leaders have said they were willing to speak to the government again.
The farmers fear the policies will make them vulnerable to corporate exploitation and would dismantle the minimum support price regime. The government, however, continues to claim that the three legislation are pro-farmer.
In January, nearly two months into the farmer protests, the Supreme Court had suspended the implementation of the farm laws. It instead set up a committee and tasked it to consult stakeholders and assess the impact of the laws.