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West UP farmers up in arms against Centre’s legislations

Many farmers under the aegis of BKU hit the streets across Western UP to demand rollback of the Modi govt’s controversial agriculture legislations; Oppn SP activists also hold similar protests

Swati Sharma | Meerut |

Many farmers in as many as twelve districts of Western Uttar Pradesh today came out on the streets to oppose the controversial agriculture Bills of the Narendra Modi government, which were passed by the two Houses of Parliament last week.

These farmers’ protests were held under the aegis of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU). A similar protest against the Centre’s controversial farm sector legislations was also held by the activists of the Opposition Samajwadi Party.

Coming out in support of the agitating farmers of Punjab and Haryana — who have been protesting against the Modi government’s agriculture Ordinances / Bills — the BKU leaders and supporters staged demonstrations and sat on a dharna at the offices of the administration in Meerut, Saharanpur, Baghpat, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Bulandshahar, Hapur, Sambhal, Amroha, Rampur, Bijnor and Moradabad districts of Western UP.

The Samajwadi party leaders and workers also protested against the Centre’s farm Bills and raised other crucial issues including payment of dues of sugarcane farmers and the deteriorating law and order situation.

While leading the protest in Muzzaffarnagar, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait targeted the ruling BJP in his address to the farmers. He blamed the Modi government of allegedly “benefiting the handful of capitalists” for which it is “bent on abolishing the Mandi system in the country”.

“The fight of farmers against the government’s exploitation would continue,” said Dharmendra Malik, state BKU spokesperson, adding that the farmers have demanded immediate withdrawal of the controversial legislations. These protests against the Centre’s farm legislations were held by the farmers under the aegis of the BKU at the collectorate and tehsil offices in all districts of Western UP. The protesting farmers gave a charter of their demands to the officials in which they mainly pressed for immediate withdrawal of the controversial legislations besides raising other major farmers’ issues.

On its part, the Samajwadi Party, led by its former minister Shahid Manzoor, and Meerut district president Rajpal Singh, demonstrated at the collectorate and tehsil offices in Meerut. They also handed over a memorandum to the officials, demanding immediate withdrawal of the Centre’s agriculture legislations.

“On Sunday, a black chapter was added to the history of the Indian democracy which was murdered in the Rajya Sabha,” said Manzoor, adding that they are with the farmers on this issue and strongly demand that these legislations must be withdrawn immediately.

Apart from raising other important issues related to the farmers, the protesting SP activists also highlighted poor law and order situation in UP, said Rajpal Singh. He charged that the “doubleengine BJP government”, in the state as well as at the Centre, has “miserably failed” on every front.

The BKU(Bhanu group) also staged such dharnas and protests in Amroha, Sambhal, Moradabad and other districts. They were led by their vice president Diwakar Choudhary. Hundreds of farmers affiliated to this organisation held protest at the collectorate office in Amroha and handed over their memorandum to the officials there. “We strongly demand the withdrawal of these controversial Centre’s Bills,” said Diwakar.