Updated: Tue, 17 May 2022 08:27 PM IST
Chandigarh | Jagran News Desk: Farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, had launched a massive protest on the outskirts of Delhi against the Centre over the three contentious agricultural laws. The protest ended last year in December after the acts were withdrawn by the Centre. Nearly six months after that, Punjab farmers have launched a similar agitation, but this time against Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the state.
Hundreds of farmers are now sitting on the Chandigarh-Mohali border after they were denied from entering the state capital. Security has been beefed up on the border, but the farmers have threatened to continue their protest - as they did on the Delhi borders - till their demands are met.
"We've started a 'Morcha' like Delhi and will continue until our various demands are met including giving a bonus for wheat which CM had agreed on earlier. MSP should be announced for other crops if the government wants that we don't sow rice," Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Jagjit Singh Dalawal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Why are farmers protesting against the AAP government?
The farmers have several demands. Among them, one is that they want to sow paddy from June 10. The AAP government has allowed paddy sowing in a staggered manner from June 18 to lessen the electricity burden and conserve underground water. They also want a notification issued for the minimum support price for maize and moong.
Besides, they are against the installation of smart electricity meters and want the state government to reduce charges on the extension of electricity load from Rs 4,800 to Rs 1,200.
These are the main demands of the farmers. However, in addition to that, they want the Punjab government to release outstanding sugarcane payments and provide a Rs 500 bonus on each quintal of wheat as yields have dropped due to unprecedented heatwave conditions.
The farmers said till their demands are met, they won't end the "peaceful" agitation. They have also sought to meet Chief Minister Mann, who is reportedly gone to Delhi. However, the farmers are hopeful of meeting him soon.
"Moving ahead (by breaking barricades) is not a big thing for you. But we will sit here in a peaceful manner," farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. "We will hold a protest here... It is like the agitation in Delhi."
What the state government has to say?
The state government has not issued a statement over the same. However, AAP's Punjab unit chief spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang said the state government is committed to the welfare of farmers and it will address their genuine demands.