Senior Congress leader Harish Rawat joined farmers protesting against the Centre’s agricultural reform laws at the Ghazipur border here on Sunday and demanded the government take back the “anti-farmer" legislations. The former Uttarakhand chief minister also paid homage to farmers who have died during the agitation.
AICC member Narendra Rathi said Rawat was accompanied by several Congress office-bearers and workers. Farmers from different parts of the country, including Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at different border points of Delhi for four weeks now to demand the repeal of the three farm laws, which were voted through in Parliament in September amid strong protests by opposition parties.
“I am the son of a farmer and very well understand the problems of farmers. I demand that the central government withdraw the three anti-farmer agricultural laws," Rawat said. He paid tributes to farmers who lost their lives during the protest due to different reasons including heart attack.
Farmers in different parts of the country observed ‘Shradhanjali Diwas’ on Sunday to pay homage to their brethren who died during the agitation. Farmers’ bodies have claimed that over 30 farmers participating in the stir have died so far.
The three farm laws have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country. However, farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price (MSP) and do away with mandis that ensure income, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.
While the government has offered to amend the laws and give a written assurance to farmers that the MSP regime will continue, the farmers have stuck to their demand for the withdrawal of the farm laws.