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HomeIndia5 farm unions protest at Jantar Mantar, press for ASA as a...

5 farm unions protest at Jantar Mantar, press for ASA as a legal guarantee, more water for PunjabNews WAALI

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On a call given by five Kisan organizations, a large number of farmers from Punjab gathered on Monday at Jantar Mantar (New Delhi) to protest against the Center and to press for their long-standing demands, including equal distribution of water, implementation of the minimum . supporting price scheme (MSP), waiving farmers’ debt, scrapping fake police cases against farmers and keeping tabs on ground water pollution, among others.

The five farmer organizations that participated in the protest were Bhartiya Kisan Union Rajewal; All India Kisan Federation; Kisan Sangharsh Committee, Punjab; Bhatiya Kisan Union Mansa; and the Azad Kisan Sangharsh Committee.

Earlier, farmers took out the procession from Gurudwara Shri Bangla Sahib (Delhi) carrying banners and placards with angry slogans in their hands.

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‚ÄúSlogans were raised against the central and state governments which have failed to address our long standing issues. We went to Delhi to vent our anger and express our anger against the Centre, which has cheated us by not fulfilling the written promises made to farmers at the time when the three controversial central farm laws were repealed,” Balbir said. Singh Rajewal, president of BKU Rajewal.

Prem Singh Bhangu, Kanwalpreet Singh Pannu, Bogh Singh Mansa and Harjinder Singh Tanda – president of their respective unions – also addressed the farmers.

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They made a scathing attack on the government for doing great injustice to Punjab and farmers by taking wrong decisions in relation to water disputes. According to these decisions, these decisions had resulted in “too much water being given to non-riverine states like Rajasthan and Delhi, leaving 73% of the state’s agricultural land unirrigated”.

They said that Punjab is facing a serious water crisis as the ground water is depleting day by day. Water, irrigation and canals come under the state list. Being a state subject, the Center has no right to legislate or pass any executive order on water matters. They claimed that the Center had unnecessarily complicated the water issue by interfering in it and taking political mileage out of it. They said that every inch of Punjab’s cultivated land should be given canal water as the state is a land of five rivers.

The leaders demanded that BPA for farmers should be made a legal right and the price set as per Dr MS Swaminathan’s formula C2+50% along with a guaranteed market for all agricultural crops, including vegetables and fruits.
They expressed great concern about the environmental pollution caused by untreated factory chemical effluents being released into bodies of water or the ground. And due to polluted ground water, people in the state are suffering from chronic diseases and it is also not fit for crops, they said.

They claimed that the enactment of the Dam Safety Act was contrary to the federal principles and that it contributed to the powers of the state governments. The law was passed to establish the Centre’s supremacy over state waters, they further claim.

The Kisan organizations also sought to waive the debt of farmers and agricultural workers, as well as demanded withdrawal of fake police cases registered against farmers in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh as promised by the government.

They also slammed the central government for CBI raids on farmers to quell their agitation.
Later, a delegation of farmers submitted a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the officials concerned.

In their memorandum, the farmers urged Modi to ensure that water is properly distributed for their agricultural activities and ensure that the MSP scheme, as promised by the Centre, is implemented at the earliest.

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