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Testing time for Modi govt for 2nd consecutive December

The agitating farmers' unions have also circulated a message among their cadres across the nation to make India a "toll-free" country

Sunday December 13, 2020 12:32 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Farmers Protest

New Delhi: Narendra Modi government in New Delhi is having a tough time in facing the farmers' agitation, which entered its 18th day Sunday, even though the protesters are not willing to relent till the Centre repeals the three new farm laws enacted in September.

Despite several rounds of talks with the Centre, the farmers are firm on their first and major demand that the contentious farm laws be repealed. The agitating farmers' unions have also circulated a message among their cadres across the nation to make India a "toll-free" country.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has communicated a fresh message to the farmers' leaders about the Central government's sentiments, and the steps he believed are being taken for the "welfare of the farmers".

Tomar said the government brought the three farm laws only to "protect the interests of the farmers" and it is adopting all the possible measures to make the agriculture sector more prosperous.

The farmers are on the other hand of the view that the farm laws is for corporate and they will ultimately end up losing their lands.

Farmers Protest 2020 Delhi

This is not the first time the government is facing such type of situation. Last year also the government had faced a nationwide protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, particularly in Jamia Nagar and Shaheen Bagh in Delhi, with the latter becoming a symbol of the anti-CAA protests.

The Shaheen Bagh protests drew international attention with the way the women took to the streets since end December last year, and held fort until the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.

The protests against CAA that spread to more than 150 places across India and abroad were remarkably peaceful despite provocation by the BJP leaders and their supporters. The Shaheen Bagh protest too remained totally peaceful.

However, communal violence was triggered in North-East Delhi soon after communally charged speech by BJP leader Kapil Mishra. The violence took the life of more than 55 people - mostly Muslims. In the aftermath, many student leaders and social activists were jailed and are currently facing trial for their alleged role in the anti-CAA stir.

The farmers' protest too has been gaining momentum in the national capital with the protesters laying siege on the crucial border points surrounding Delhi, keeping the government on its toes.

Even after five rounds of talks, a separate meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and a government's written proposal to the farmers accepting their various other key issues, there has been no breakthrough in the solution to the agitation.

While the government has taken a stiff stand that it cannot rollback the three farm laws, the farmers are rigid on their stand that repealing the legislations is their "first and major" demand, terming the laws as "black law", "anti-farmer" and "draconian".

Both sides are still open to have discussions but they are not ready to compromise on the issue of the three laws -- The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The farmers are proving a tough nut to crack and with majority of the opposition parties lending their support to them, the government should brace for a harsh December, just like last year.


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