Protests intensified in India’s northern state of Haryana on Tuesday as farmers gathered in large numbers to surround the state’s deputy chief Dushyant Chautala's home in Sirsa in protest against agricultural laws passed by the Indian government.
Security has been beefed up outside the house of the deputy chief minister, who recently defended the new farm laws, calling them “pro-farmer” and accused the opposition of misleading people.
In the time of #COVID19 epidemic, & at the peak of harvest season, a sea of #Farmers is pouring in Dushehra ground #Sirsa, to protest against the #FarmBills. Today farmers will gherao residences of Haryana Deputy C.M Dushyant Chautala, & Electricity minister Ranjit Chautala. pic.twitter.com/k0Zb86nMyj— Ramandeep Singh Mann (@ramanmann1974) October 6, 2020
.@_YogendraYadav ने किसानों से अपील की: अपने गांव जाकर किसानों में इन तीनों किसान विरोधी कानूनों का पर्दाफाश करें।— Swaraj India (@_SwarajIndia) October 6, 2020
अपने गांव के बाहर बैनर लगा कर घोषणा कर दें:
"तीन किसान विरोधी कानूनों के समर्थक किसी भी मंत्री, एम पी या एम एल ए का प्रवेश इस गांव में वर्जित है"।#KursiYaKisan pic.twitter.com/po1qxJgFm8
The ongoing protests in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana, dubbed India’s grain bowls, reached a month on Tuesday. Farmers in Punjab blocked railway tracks and burnt an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for passing the farm laws and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for what they see as politicising and sabotaging the farmers' protest for political gains.
Protesting Farmers, on dharna at Railways tracks, burnt effigy of @BhagwantMann @officeofssbadal @PMOIndia and @RahulGandhi for allegedly politicising farmers' protest. They Alleged @INCIndia, @Akali_Dal_ and @AAPPunjab for derailing agitation against farm Bills.@iepunjab pic.twitter.com/E8gS5VzlGd— Kamaldeep Singh Brar (@kamalsinghbrar) October 6, 2020
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi reiterated his attacks against Modi, claiming that the prime minister had destroyed the entire food security system through the latest reforms and that it was an "attack on our farmers”.
PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar takes the wheel with Rahul Gandhi and Capt Amarinder besides him as the Kheti Bachao tractor rally gets rolling from village Francewala near Sanour towards the Haryana-Punjab border on Tuesday. Express photos by Harmeet Sodhi. pic.twitter.com/azhz55pYVN— Express Punjab (@iepunjab) October 6, 2020
The three enacted farm laws are the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
The farmers believe the new legislation will bring to an end the price protection given by the government and that private conglomerates will take over their businesses.
The agriculture sector, which employs about half of the country's 1.3 billion people, contributes nearly 15 percent to India’s $2.9 trillion economy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured the farmers that the system of Minimum Support Price (MSP) will not be revoked in the future. He defended the legislation and claimed that the reforms would help rid India’s vast farm sector of antiquated laws and allow farmers to sell to large corporates and retailers such as Walmart.