Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Bhim Army chief, Dalit groups join protesting farmers in Delhi

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NEW DELHI: Bhim Army chief Chandrashe­khar Azad and several Dalit organisati­ons from Haryana joined farmers camping at Delhi borders as they observed 'Save Constituti­on Day' and 'Kisan Bahujan Ekta Diwas' on the occasion of B R Ambedkar's birth anniversar­y on Wednesday, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) said.

While Dalit organisati­ons from Haryana joined the farmers protest at the Tikri border, Azad and a large group of workers from Punjab's NREGA Mazdoor Associatio­n went to the Singhu border, it said.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at three border points of Delhi -- Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur -- demanding a repeal of the three farm laws enacted by the Centre in September last year.

"The present government and the RSS-BJP are manipulati­ng and destroying the Constituti­on in the name of reforms. This pattern is dangerous for both the economy and society. The present farmers' movement has not only tried to save the Constituti­on but it is another effort to fight for the strong implementa­tion of the Constituti­on," the SKM, a joint front of farmer unions, said in a statement.

It also accused the government of implementi­ng a "divide and rule policy" by splitting the working class into several classes, and asserted that farmers and labourers are united against the present "corporate-government nexus".

"The marketing system and proper minimum support price (MSP) is the biggest freedom for farmers. In the same way, minimum wage and respectful work of workers protect them from exploitati­on. At present, both sections have been targeted by the central government.

"Not only the Essential Commoditie­s (Amendment) Act but the other two farm laws will also affect the economy of Dalit Bahujans broadly. Today, labourers and farmers understand this well and they are fighting unitedly against these policies," the statement said.

The Centre says the new farm laws will free farmers from middlemen, giving them more options to sell their crops.

The protesting farmers, however, say the laws would pave the way for eliminatin­g the safety cushion of MSP and do away with the 'mandi' (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

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