STATE TIMES NEWS
CHANDIGARH: The Indian National Lok Dal on Monday extended its support to the ‘Bharat Bandh’ on December 8 called by farmer unions which have been protesting at the Delhi borders against the new central agri-marketing laws.Abhay Singh Chautala said his party had announced its support to the protesting farmers the day the agitation started, adding that each and every worker of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) will fight this battle shoulder-to-shoulder to strengthen this movement so that the Centre is forced to abolish the three black laws imposed on the peasants .Our party has decided to extend full support to the Bharat Bandh, he said.Chautala, younger son of INLD president and former chief minister O P Chautala, said he will visit the Tikri border on December 9 and meet the farmers and leaders leading the stir.In a statement here, the INLD leader said no farmer organisation of the country had demanded the new agricultural laws, but the central government enacted the black farm legislations to benefit the corporates .He reiterated his demand that the Centre withdraw these laws and guarantee minimum support price (MSP) of crops to farmers, and also make provisions of punishment for whoever buys the crop below the MSP.Chautala also appealed to all political parties that they should rise above party politics and stand with farmers to lend strength to the agitation.At a press conference here last week, Chautala had asked the Centre to immediately accept farmers demand to repeal the three farm laws, and asserted that the party was solidly behind the farmers fighting against the three laws .Claiming that their agitation has spread across the nation, farmer leaders, who have maintained that their protest is apolitical, have welcomed the support and urged all to come forward to make Bharat Bandh a success.After five rounds of talks between the Centre and the farmer unions failed to end the impasse, the two sides are again set to meet on December 9, a day after the countrywide strike.The three farm laws enacted in September have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the 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 MSP and do away with mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates. The Centre, however, has repeatedly asserted that these mechanisms will remain.
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