Indian opposition parties lend support to protesting farmers over controversial farm laws

Source: Xinhua Published: 2020/12/7 10:07:12

Photo: CFP


Photo: CFP


Photo: CFP


Photo: CFP

All major political parties opposed to the India's main ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced their support to the ongoing farmers' protests against three new farm laws recently passed by the federal government.

The protesting farmers have given a call for a countrywide shutdown on Dec. 8, as the next (fifth) round of talks between the farmers and the federal government is scheduled to be held on Dec. 9.

Sunday was the 11th day of the farmers' ongoing stir.

The opposition political parties lending support to the farmers' protests include the main opposition party Indian National Congress (INC), besides a host of state-level parties - the Shiromani Akali Dal (in Punjab), the Samajwadi Party (in Uttar Pradesh), the Aam Aadmi Party (in Delhi), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (in Bihar), the Trinamool Congress (in West Bengal), the Shiv Sena & the Nationalist Congress Party (both in Maharashtra), the Telangana Rashtriya Samithi (in Telangana state), besides the Communist parties.

A few of these are ruling political parties in different Indian states.

According to farmers unions, hundreds and thousands of farmers from various states, including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, will march towards Delhi as a mark of protest against the three new farm laws.

The three farm laws passed by the Parliament are - the 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.

In a statement, the INC party said it will support and actively participate in the shutdown called by farmers unions and organizations on Dec. 8.

"The party stands in solidarity with the farmers in their committed and uncompromising historic struggle against these anti-people legislations, despite brutal state atrocities and harsh weather conditions," the INC said in a statement.

Party spokesman Pawan Khera told the media that it was quite strange to note that the federal government did not consult the farming community before enacting these new laws in the Parliament.

While the federal government maintained that the new farm laws would help in raising the farmers' incomes, the agitated farmers argued these laws were detrimental to their interests as they favored big industrialists.

After being stopped from entering Delhi to carry out their protests, thousands of farmers have been camping at inter-state borders around the capital to carry on with their agitation. They have set up community kitchens for cooking food for themselves.

Various sports and film personalities have also lent their support to the protesting farmers.

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