Farmer ‘Chalo Delhi’ March: Why Farmers are protesting and what are their demands?

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Heavy traffic congestion has been observed in Delhi-NCR because security forces have put up barricades.

Farmer’s ‘Chalo Delhi’ March:

Farmers, mainly from Punjab, along with counterparts from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, are about to start their ‘Chalo Delhi’ march soon. This comes after their meeting with the Union government did not reach a conclusion.

Second Round of Talks:

On the eve of the march, farmer leaders from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh met with central ministers Piyush Goyal and Arjun Munda for another round of talks. The meeting lasted five hours, as the government attempted to stop the protest expected to cause gridlock in Delhi NCR on Tuesday.

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Outcomes of the Meeting:

Union Agriculture Minister Munda stated that most issues concerning the farmers were agreed upon. However, the farmers insisted on proceeding with their march on Tuesday, leading to the closure of many state borders around Delhi.

Purpose of the Protest:

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha will lead Tuesday’s march to demand the Centre to accept their demands. This includes a law to ensure a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

Key Demands of Farmers:

The main reason for the protest is the demand for a legal guarantee of MSP. Additionally, the farmers are calling for the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations and farm debt waiver.

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Farmers have put forth multiple conditions like legal MSP guarantee, pension for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver and “justice” for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

Preparations for the Protest:

Farmers from Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh are organizing a large protest in Delhi to push for a legal guarantee of MSP. They have made several demands including pension for farmers and farm laborers, farm debt waiver, and justice for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

Security Measures:

Security has been heightened at Singh, Tikri, and Ghazipur borders in Delhi with cement barricades and barriers to restrict movement and maintain peace. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code has been imposed at Uttar Pradesh borders to prevent mishaps ahead of the protests. Over 50,000 security personnel have been deployed at Delhi borders, and internet and bulk SMS services have been suspended in seven districts for February 13.

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