Ten farm organisations of Punjab organised a ‘Lalkar Rally’ at the Barnala grain market against the farm ordinances and the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The protest was held under the aegis of the All-India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee.
The organisations included the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU)-Ekta (Dakaunda), Punjab Kisan Union, Kirti Kisan Union, All-India Kisan Sabha, Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, and others.
Addressing the rally, leaders of various organisations alleged the Central Government had issued three anti-farm ordinances, namely The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, on June 5.
“These anti-farm ordinances have been issued during the Covid pandemic when people were compelled to confine themselves to their homes as the government imposed a lockdown. Under such conditions, the rulers of the country took it as an opportunity to sell various public sector undertakings and hand over the agricultural sector — the backbone of the Indian economy — to corporate houses,” said Buta Singh Burjgill, president, BKU (Ekta), Dakaunda.
Ruldu Singh from the Punjab Kisan Union alleged various governments had not kept their promises made with farmers since Independence.
The speakers demanded immediate withdrawal of the ordinances and also announced intensifying their agitation after the September 16 meeting of 10 organisations, to be held at Ishru Bhawan, Ludhiana.
Meanwhile, farmers under the banner of the All-India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee held protests at the new grain market in Patiala.
Addressing the gathering, farmer leader Darshan Pal said the government had not left any option for them other than taking to streets and protesting against the ordinances.
A massive rally of farmers, organised under the banner of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, blocked a bridge over the Beas, halting the traffic between Amritsar and Jalandhar.
Meanwhile, addressing meetings at Latala, Chhapar, Dhulkot and Jartauli villages in Ludhiana, activists of various units of the All-India Kisan Sabha, Khet Mazdoor Union and Centre of Indian Trade Unions, led by Baldev Singh Latala and Sikandar Jartauli, alleged the Centre had been taking hasty decisions which were affecting all sections of society, including farmers, labourers and traders.