Even as the farmers from Haryana and Punjab continue to protest against the new farm reforms proposed by the ruling BJP, there is increasing support for them from various quarters. There have been some interesting comments on social media that the south of India learnt Punjabi within a day, thanks to Diljit Dosanjh-Kangana Raut face-off, where the government could not get them to learn Hindi in 70 years.
The Muslim Brotherhood of Malerkotla, Punjab has set up langar seva for the protesting farmers at Singhu border. Meanwhile, Tejaswi Yadav of RJD has also extended his support to protesting farmers saying that he will hold a one-day dharna on Saturday to express his solidarity.
Already, the Congress party has been extending its support to the farmers and Rahul Gandhi has been opposing the bill on the grounds that it will help the corporates and not toiling farmers.
The farmers have made it clear that if politicians do not come out to support them, then they will not allow political rallies in their villages in future.
To give the issue a context, the government of BJP has passed two farm bills – The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce Bill, 2020 and The Farmers (Empowerment and protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. The dual bills have been passed by both houses of Parliament, though it did get some opposition in the upper house.
As per the first bill, the farmers have a choice to sell to whosoever they choose, instead of sticking to Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC).
As per the second bill, provisions will be made for setting up a framework for contract farming, which means the farmers can strike a deal with the buyers, even before produce is in hands.
However, farmers in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab are anxious that the bill will make them lose out on minimum support price (MSP) given by the government during production season.
Amidst protests, Prime Minister Modi has made it clear that government has no plans of doing away with MSP. Yet, both parties have not reached an amicable solution.