Headlines September 20, 2020
Protests build up over farm bills, Centre unmoved
The Haryana wing of farmers’ organisation Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) plans to clock all major highways in the state for three hours. This is protest against the central government’s refusal to withdraw the controversial farm sector bills. The BJP claims the bills will open up the agriculture market and help small farmers.
The BKU has urged its members to block all major highways amid continue with protests outside the Ambala deputy commissioner’s office. Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij has appealed to farmers not to block the national highways and allow ambulances and sick people to reach hospitals amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is farmers’ right to protest. India is a free country, it is in the constitution,” said Vij.
The call for road blockades comes amid widespread protests across various states, including Punjab, MAny more protests are planned over the next one week. There is also a “rail roko” next week.
The bills were recently passed in the Lok Sabha amid stiff opposition from farmers and political parties. This includes the BJP’s oldest ally Shiromani Akali Dal. They will be presented before the Rajya Sabha where they will be cleared given the numbers in the BJP’s favour.
PM Modi has remained unmoved in his support for the bills. Farmers say the bills will leave them vulnerable to be exploited by private companies.
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