Nationwide Farmer Protests Escalate at Delhi Borders, Congress Extends Support

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New Delhi, 13th February 2024: Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh have intensified their preparations for nationwide protests, converging at the borders of Delhi to advocate for various demands, prominently including the enactment of legislation to ensure the Minimum Support Price (MSP). Commencing their assembly at the peripheries of the capital, farmer organizations have taken to the streets, exerting pressure on the central government to address their grievances.

Deployments of farmer organizations from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh have stationed themselves at the borders of Delhi, echoing the protests witnessed in 2021. With demands ranging from MSP legislation to other agricultural reforms, farmers have once again mobilized to assert their rights. In response to the protests, security measures at state borders have been significantly reinforced by authorities.

In light of the upcoming “Chalo Delhi March,” IG of Ambala Range, Sibash Kaviraj, has extended a welcoming stance towards farmers from Punjab. However, concerns have been raised regarding potential disruptions caused by the movement of tractors. As a precautionary measure, it has been emphasized that farmers utilize alternative modes of transportation such as buses, trains, or by foot, with a strict prohibition on tractor movements enforced under Section 144.

In a display of solidarity with the farmers’ cause, Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh Raja Wading has announced the launch of a helpline offering free legal assistance to farmers.

Former Haryana Chief Minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, on February 13, 2024, urged the central government to promptly engage in discussions with farmers and address their demands.

Congress MP Deepender Hooda has stressed the government’s obligation to honor its agreements with the farming community, acknowledging the legitimacy of their demand for MSP.

At the Haryana-Punjab border near Shambhu, the gathering of farmers has significantly swelled, prompting the Haryana Police to deploy drones for crowd monitoring and estimation. Intermittent firing of tear gas shells has further fueled tensions, leading to instances of stone pelting by protestors.

The Congress party has extended its unequivocal support to the farmers’ movement, offering legal assistance through a toll-free helpline number issued by State Congress President Amarinder Singh, in alignment with the directives of Congress National President Mallikarjun Kharge.