Hindustan Times, New Delhi
He added that if necessary, the government will make some amendments to the laws to take into account the wishes of the agitating farmers.(PTI Photo)
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday said that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) would support the Bharat Bandh announced by the farmer groups on Tuesday to protest against the three contentious farm laws.
“The AAP would support the Bharat Bandh called by farmer groups on December 8. AAP volunteers too would join hands with farmers in peaceful protests across the country on that day. It’s an appeal to citizens of India to support the farmers,” said Kejriwal, who is also the national convener of the AAP, in a tweet.
Kejriwal’s declaration of support to the agitation comes on a day when Union minister of state for agriculture Kailash Choudhary reiterated that the three laws were in favour of the farmers and were unlikely to be repealed as has been the demand by the farmers. He added that if necessary, the government will make some amendments to the laws to take into account the wishes of the agitating farmers.
Farmers are protesting against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, enacted by the Parliament in September. The three laws seek to open up farm trade.
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The AAP had voted against the three laws in both Houses of the Parliament.
Later in the day, several AAP leaders weighed in.
AAP leader and Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai said all party volunteers and workers will participate in the strike to support the farmers.
“This is not just the farmers’ fight but the fight for all countrymen. India is an agricultural country and if farmers are unhappy then the country is affected. I appeal to all to join the protest,” said Rai.
AAP Lok Sabha MP from Punjab, Bhagwant Mann said, “We will do our best to support farmers in the nationwide strike on December 8. This strike is not political. It is about farmers, their land, and their livelihood. It concerns the entire nation. I urge everyone to support farmers. The central government has been doing one meeting after another for the past several days with top ministers but they have not been able to resolve the issue. Resolving the issue needs political will and good intent.
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Farmers have said that they would occupy toll plazas on December 8, the day of Bharat Bandh, if their demands for repealing the farm laws are not met. They are demanding that a special session of Parliament is called to repeal the laws. Thousands of farmers have gathered on Delhi’s borders with Haryana and UP to protest against the laws and their representatives have held several rounds of talks with the Central government. The next talks are scheduled to be held on December 9.