Govt should provide power connections or farmers will install generators for AC, coolers in summers: BKU leader Rakesh Tikait

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New Delhi: Amid the ongoing agitation against the Centre’s new farm laws, the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait has sought power connections for AC and coolers at farmers’ protest sites.

“The summer season would soon be setting in and farmers require AC and coolers to stay put at the protest site. The government should provide power connections at the site or else we have to install generators,” IANS quoted BKU leader Rakesh Tikait as saying.

He added that the way people got water for the agitating farmers at the protest site, they will also get diesel for the generators.

Tikat reiterated that the farmers will intensify their stir until their demands are met and told IANS, “The government wants to prolong the protest, but the farmers are also ready for a long haul and will not leave the site until the demands are met.”

He stated, “We will prepare 8 to 10 questions and distribute it among the people. Whenever, party campaigns for the election, give them those questions. Soon we will be organising a meeting in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Bengal to discuss the progress by the respective state governments.”

Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare said that the Centre had promulgated these three news laws – The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, on June 5, 2020, by following the due procedure.

The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare added that the draft of the Ordinances had been circulated to various ministries and departments, NITI Aayog etc, for their comments.

“The state governments were also consulted through video conferencing on May 21, 2020, which was attended by the officials of states and UTs, to obtain feedback on new legal framework facilitating barrier-free inter-State and intra-State trade in agriculture produce to provide choice to farmers,” the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare stated.

“During COVID-19 lockdown due to disruption of markets and supply chains, there was an utmost need to allow free direct marketing outside the mandis to facilitate the farmers in selling their produce near to farm gate at remunerative prices. As COVID-19 situation may have a prolonged effect globally on the demand side, hence the urgency for the promulgation of an Ordinances was necessitated to provide a new facilitative framework to promote barrier-free inter-state and intra-state trade to increase market accessibility for farmers to realize their income,” the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare added.

They added that in view of COVID-19 outbreak, the Government had also proactively undertaken many webinars interactions with farmers and other stakeholders on new farm laws between June 5 and September 17, 2020.

This is to be noted that the Centre and the agitating farmers’ unions have had 11 rounds of negotiations, but all of them have remained inconclusive.

In a similar development, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday said that his government is planning to bring a law under which protesters will have to pay for the damage to public properties during any protest. He was talking to media after his meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Khattar said, “We have been planning to bring this law even before the farmers’ movement started. Once the Supreme Court in its decision had said that nobody had the right to vandalise public property, and we are bringing a law under which people have to pay for damage to public property.”

Meanwhile, Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee on Saturday visited the Ghazipur protest site to extend support to the farmers’ protest. The 84-year-old exhorted farmers to remain peaceful in their protest and urged the Centre to take care of the farming community.

Thousands of farmers are camping at Delhi’s border since late November 2020 and are demanding the new farm laws to be repealed.

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