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Farmers' protest: Pawar to meet Prez on December 9

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: December 06, 2020 22:52 IST
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Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar is scheduled to meet President Ram Nath Kovind on December 9 over the ongoing farmers' protest against the new agrarian laws, the party said in Mumbai on Sunday.


NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said the former Union agriculture minister will apprise Kovind of the situation in the country in the backdrop of the protest.

Pawar will be accompanied by Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury, Communist Party of India leader D Raja and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP T R Baalu.

They will meet Kovind at 5 pm on Wednesday, NCP sources said.

The NCP on Sunday joined other opposition parties in extending support to the 'Bharat Bandh' called on December 8 by farmer unions, which have been protesting on Delhi's borders since November 26 demanding repeal of the Centre's new agri-marketing laws.

The representatives of thousands of agitating farmers have said that their call for a 'Bharat bandh' would be observed with full force.

Earlier in the day, Pawar asked the Centre to take serious cognisance of the ongoing farmers' protest and said if the deadlock continues, the agitation will not be limited to Delhi and people from across the country will stand by the protesting cultivators.

Talking to reporters in Mumbai, Pawar said when the farmers are protesting on streets, it should be taken seriously.

"But, unfortunately, that is not happening," the former Union agriculture minister said.

"I hope wisdom dawns on the government and it takes cognisance to resolve the issue.

"If this stalemate continues, the protest will not be limited to Delhi, but people from nook and corner of the country will stand by the protesting farmers," he said.

Pawar said farmers from Punjab and Haryana contribute the most to the country's agriculture and food supply.

"Farmers from these states not just fill our stomach but are also major contributors to India's supply of food grains, especially rice and wheat, to more than a dozen countries," he said.

Pawar said when the three farm bills were introduced in Parliament, all parties, except the Bharatiya Janata Party, had said the bills should not be passed in a hurried manner.

The parties had sought a debate on the bills and demanded they be sent to the joint select committee.

"But, the government did not listen, and now they will have to bear the consequences," he said.

The farmers are protesting against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.

Enacted in September, 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 anywhere in the country.

But, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of minimum support price and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the 'mercy' of big corporates.

The Centre has repeatedly asserted that these mechanisms will remain.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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