Farmers in Punjab under the banner of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangarsh Samiti on Monday started a campaign to “court arrest” themselves as a mark of protest against the Centre’s recently promulgated agriculture ordinances.
“We have started ‘jail bharo andolan’ in ten districts of the State to register our protest against the three ordinances promulgated by the BJP-led government at the Centre. We demand that the government should not pass the Bills in Parliament surrounding these ordinances. Besides, we also want the government to revoke amendment to the Electricity Act,” Sarvan Singh Pandher, general secretary of the Punjab unit of the Samiti, told The Hindu.
“These ordinances are an ill-conceived move on the part of the Central government, which is completely anti-farmer. The implementation of the ordinances will ultimately lead to exploitation at the hands of big corporate houses. The government has given a free hand to the private corporate houses to exploit the farmers,” he added.
“We will continue to court arrest as a part of our agitation until our demands are met. We also demand all the 13 MPs from Punjab to raise their voice against the Bills during the upcoming monsoon session of the Parliament,” said Mr. Pandher.
‘CM misleading farmers’
Meanwhile, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal accused Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh of misleading farmers on the issue of agriculture ordinances.
“Captain Amarinder Singh must refrain from misleading Punjab farmers by indulging in farcical opposition to the Central government’s ordinances on agriculture reforms, which he himself had implemented in Punjab in August 2017,” said Ms. Badal.
She said Capt. Amarinder’s statement demanding the withdrawal of the ordinances was nothing but a ploy to inflame sentiments of farmers to divert attention from his government’s failures.