Farmers protest: 1,500 farm unions converge at Singhu border to mark 9 months of agitation

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Updated: August 26, 2021 1:02 PM

During the convention, the farm unions will discuss the intensification and expansion of the ongoing agitation, focusing on their demand of withdrawal of farm laws. 

During the convention, the farm unions will discuss the intensification and expansion of the ongoing agitation, focusing on their demand of withdrawal of farm laws. 

Over 1,500 representatives of farm unions from across the country have converged at the Singhu border of Delhi for a national convention on August 26 and 27 to mark the completion of nine months of farmers’ protest against the Centre’s three contentious farm laws. 

During the convention, the farm unions will discuss the intensification and expansion of the ongoing agitation, focusing on their demand of withdrawal of farm laws. 

The convention will also discuss legal guarantee for MSP of all crops, repeal of Electricity Bill, 2021, and no prosecution of farmers under the Commission of Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas Bill 2021. 

“Unlike our other events, the national convention is not going to be a mass gathering or a rally. Instead, 1,500 representatives of farmer unions from across the country will come together for two days at the Singhu border to discuss strategies to sharpen and intensify our protests,” farmer leader Abhimanyu Kohar told news agency PTI.

He said the purpose of the convention was to bring together farm unions of the country so that a mutual decision can be taken on how to go ahead with the protests.

Farmers from across the country, particularly northern states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at the Delhi borders since November last year, demanding repeal of the farm laws. hey have repeatedly expressed fear over the laws doing away with the minimum support price (MSP), leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.

Nearly a dozen rounds of talks with the government that has been projecting the laws as major agricultural reforms have failed to break the deadlock between the two parties.

“It is sad that it’s been nine months but the government is still not ready to talk. But we should not feel demotivated. During this convention we will reflect on what we have lost and what we have gained over the last nine months,” said Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait while addressing the protesters at the Singhu border.

The two-day event will see five sessions — three on Thursday and two on Friday — that will attempt to address the challenges faced by industrial workers, agriculture labour, rural poor and tribal people.

One of the major topics that will be up for discussion will be the farmers’ upcoming ‘mahapanchayat’ in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar, Kohar said.

“Our next strategy is the Muzaffarnagar ‘mahapanchayat’ on September 5 which will also be discussed at the convention. Preparations for the ‘mahapanchayat’ are in full swing. I know that at least 5,000 vehicles will be travelling to Muzaffarnagar,” he said.

The visiting representatives from around 20 states, including Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu, have been provided accommodation at the Singhu border itself.

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