Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal declared on Sunday about his move to hold a one-day fast on Monday to support the farmers protesting against the three contentious farm laws passed by the Center. Kejriwal appealed to the workers and supporters of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to join him in the move.
Kejriwal urged the Centre to revoke the three controversial farm bills which were passed by the Centre in September, and asked for a new bill to assure Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for the farmers, which is presently a police issue which needs to be drafted and tabulated.
At a video press briefing, Kejriwal stated, “I request all party (AAP) supporters and people across the country to observe fast for a day tomorrow (Monday) in solidarity with protesting farmers. I shall be observing a day’s fast too… Let’s support our farmers from our homes. I understand that it is not possible for many of us to be physically present in the (state) border points where the protesting farmer groups have gathered.”
On being addressed as ‘anti-national’ for taking a stand for the farmers, Kejriwal reiterated the Anna Hazare-led movement against corruption in 2011, highlighting the Congress’ move of disregarding the movement. He said, “In the last few days, I have seen several ministers and BJP leaders calling the protesting farmers anti-national. I have a question for them: So many ex-servicemen, sportspersons, artistes, doctors, lawyers, businessmen have been supporting the protests in some way or other – are they all anti-national? During the Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption movement in 2011, the Congress had done similar things to bring disrepute to the movement. The BJP is doing the same thing now.”
Thousands of farmers have been protesting against the three farm laws along several borders of New Delhi. The government passed the laws and advocated for it saying it will add new reforms to the farming sector and remove the middlemen, and give the farmers the liberty to sell their produce anywhere in the country.
But, the farmers are anxious about the new laws citing it will take away the security of MSP, mandi system and they will have to survive at the mercy of corporate leaders. Kejriwal added, “Some people claim that only a few farmers from Punjab and Haryana are participants in the protest. It is their misconception. Farmers across the country are troubled… The new bills make hoarding legal. It will lead to inflation… I urge the central government to leave behind their ego, roll back the three laws and prepare a new bill to ensure minimum support price for farmers.”
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