03:25 GMT19 January 2021
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    Protesting farmers' unions have called for agitation across the country on New Year Day to demand a complete rollback of the new farm laws. Apart from the nationwide protests, other farmers have planned rallies in Bihar and Tamil Nadu states on 29 December, as well as in Manipur state and Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh state) on 30 December.

    Thousands of farmers marched to the governor's house in the capital city of India's Bihar state on Tuesday to demand the scrapping of the central government's new agricultural laws. 

    According to farmers' unions, the march started at Patna city's famous Gandhi Maidan. They were supposed to head to the Raj Bhavan (governor's house). However, the police blocked the protest at Dak Bungalow Chowk, using barricades and batons, which led to clashes.

    Since 26 November, thousands of farmers have blocked the roads in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana states leading to the Indian capital New Delhi They are protesting against the recently passed agricultural laws by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government in September.  

    The laws in question are the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

    According to the government, the laws also allow farmers to sell their produce at places apart from the designated government-owned agriculture market. The laws also aim at allowing contract farming under which they can enter into supply agreements with private firms for remunerative and pre-decided prices.

    However, the farmers fear that the new laws will lead to corporate dominance of the farm sector and erode their previously assured incomes that were possible due to state procurement of farmers' produce at the end of the harvest season.

    Meanwhile, amid the persisting stalemate between the farmers and the government over the new farm laws, the central government has invited farmer unions for a new round of talks on 30 December on all relevant issues to find a solution and put an end to the crisis. 

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    Tags:
    houses, demand, Rally, governor, India, Bihar, New Year, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, laws, farmers
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