Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Punjab

Punjab farmer tries to commit suicide over Farm Bills

IANS | September 18, 2020 10:08 AM

CHANDIGARH: A day after the Lok Sabha passed two contentious agriculture Bills, despite the opposition by BJP's oldest ally Shiromani Akali Dal terming it as an "anti-farmer" move, a protesting farmer in Punjab on Friday tried to commit suicide by consuming poisonous substance.

The farmer tried to commit suicide at a protest site in Badal village, the hometown of the Badals, in Muktsar district.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) state secretary Shingara Singh Mann said farmer Pritam Singh, 60, was disturbed over the passing of the agriculture Bills in the Lok Sabha.

The farmer feared that the Bills would be against the farmers.

The condition of the farmer is stated to be serious.

The farmers have been staging a protest at the Badal village just outside the residence of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal against the Bills brought by the Central government.

Akali Dal's lone minister in the Narendra Modi government, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, resigned from the Union Cabinet on Thursday to protest the Farm bills.

While announcing the decision to withdraw the minister from the Union Cabinet, SAD President Sukhbir Badal said the party would continue to support the government and the BJP, but will oppose the anti-farmer policies.

He said the three agriculture related Bills in the Lok Sabha would sound the death knell for 20 lakh farmers, three lakh 'mandi' labourers, 30 lakh farm labourers and 30, 000 'arhatiyas', besides destroying the food grain procurement system established over a period of 50 years.

Earlier, warning that enacting laws on the ordinances issued by the Centre vis-a-vis farmers would lead to unrest in Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had led a Congress delegation to Governor V.P. Singh Badnore, seeking his intervention for non-pursuance of the three agriculture-related Bills in Parliament.

The Chief Minister submitted a memorandum to the Governor and told him that the Congress felt that any move to "tinker with the present procurement system, and that too in the times of a nationwide crisis, may deepen social unrest among Punjab farmers".

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