They shout slogans against Centre and seek repeal of farm laws
Scores of farmers took out a ‘tractor jatha’ in Dharwad on Saturday, mourning the death of 60 farmers during the agitation in New Delhi and also expressing solidarity with the farmers seeking a repeal of farm laws.
The protest, held under the aegis of ‘Raita Hitarakshana Parivar’, was led by the former Union Minister and farmer leader Babagouda Patil, KPCC media analyst Pandurang Neeralakeri, and others.
Members of various farmers’ organisations took part driving their tractors. Supporting them, members of various political parties took part in the agitation.
Starting from Kadapa Maidan, the ‘tractor jatha’ covered Subhash Road, Anjuman Circle and Azad Road, and Vivekanand Circle before returning to the originating point, where a public meeting was held.
Throughout the jatha, the protesters raised slogans seeking repeal of the new farm laws by the Union government and withdrawal of amendments to the APMC Act and land reforms Act in the State.
Addressing the protesters, Mr. Patil lambasted the Union government for being adamant and apathetic towards the hardships of farmers, who had been protesting in the chilly weather and rain in the national capital for over one-and-a-half months.
“This is not the kind of behaviour expected from those who say nation first. The nation will survive only if farmers survive and this should be realised by those in power,” he said.
Mr. Patil demanded immediate repeal of the three farm laws promulgated by the Union government which, he said, were anti-farmer and pro-corporate. He said that the Centre should immediately take steps to ensure minimum support price guarantee to the farm produce and should fulfil all the demands put forward by the joint forum of farmers, which was leading the agitation.
Mr. Neeralakeri expressed regret over the Centre’s apathy towards the farmers. He alleged that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government’s actions were aimed at helping only few corporate companies and not farmers. The new farm laws were against farmers, labour, and the public. They should be immediately repealed in the interest of the nation, he said.
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