Asserting that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led governments at the Centre and the state will not be able to suppress the farmers, the Karnataka Congress held a massive protest during a bandh called against the three new Farm Acts, in Bengaluru on Monday.
Leading the protest, Congress in-charge of Karnataka, Randeep Singh Surjewala, asked why the farmers are agitated. "Why are they on road?" "It's because the lands of the farmers are being attacked. The BJP government is harmful to the farmers. By attacking our food and the farmlands, they think that they can suppress the farmers? They are under an illusion if they think so," said Surjewala.
Karnataka observed the bandh against three contentious Farm Laws. The bandh was also called against the land reform ordinances and amendments to the Agricultural Produce Market Committee and labour laws, introduced by the B S Yediyurappa government in the state.
The protest was also led by state party chief D K Shivakumar and former chief minister Siddaramaiah.
Invoking his lineage to a farmer's family, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Monday requested the protesting farmers to wait for another six months to a year and see how the new Farm Acts help them in long run.
"Being a farmer's son, I am on the farmers' side. The Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) have not been closed. The farmers can sell their produce here or wherever they get a fair price as it's their crop, their right. They can sell their agricultural produce anywhere in India," explained the chief minister.
The Karnataka farmers are not just protesting the recently enacted laws -- The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, but also the amendments by the state government to the APMC Act and Land Reforms Act.
Yediyurappa clarified that the amendments were made after a long discussion.
"I tried speaking to the leaders of farmers' associations at Vidhana Soudha a few days back but they were not willing to discuss the amendments. They had already decided to protest," he said, adding these amendments were made after long discussions.
On Monday, Karnataka observed a bandh against the new farm laws, besides amendments to the Land Reforms Act and the APMC Act by the state government, during which the Congress held a protest at the party headquarters in Bengaluru.
The three contentious Farm Bills, passed by Parliament in the recently-concluded Monsoon Session, became Acts after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to them on Sunday.