Hundreds of farmers protesting against new farm laws showed black flags to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar while he was going to Ambala today. The BJP-led government in Haryana has been claiming that only some farmers aren’t happy with the new laws. However, the number of farmers, some of who arrived from neighbouring Punjab, has been steadily rising and they have dug in along the border with Delhi.
The farmers today tried to block the long convoy that was escorting Mr Khattar. The police then persuaded them to give way. In visuals, several farmers are seen waving black flags and even sticks at Mr Khattar’s convoy.
The Chief Minister’s convoy had to slow down considerably on seeing a large number of farmers blocking the road ahead, sources said. Eventually, the convoy had to take a U-turn, they said.
The Chief Minister was going to Ambala to campaign for BJP candidates in the election to the municipal corporation.
On December 1, a group of farmers had shown black flags to Union Minister Rattan Lal Kataria at a village in Ambala. He is also the MP from Ambala.
The farmers and the government have not been able to break the deadlock in talks. The centre says it is willing to amend the laws and even discuss them clause by clause.
The farmers, however, say they want the laws to be withdrawn completely. Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the central government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of minimum support price and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big companies.
The farmers are now dug in along the Haryana and Delhi border. Talks between them and the centre are awaited.