‘Govt Failed’: Punjab Farmers to Oppose COVID Lockdown on 8 May

Punjab recorded 7,601 news COVID-19 cases and 173 deaths on Wednesday.
The Quint
India
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Farmers from Punjab and Haryana at Delhi border, protesting against the new agri laws. Image used for representational purposes. | (Photo: PTI)
Farmers from Punjab and Haryana at Delhi border, protesting against the new agri laws. Image used for representational purposes.

Farmers from Punjab on 8 May will stage a protest opposing the statewide lockdown, a congregation of 32 farmer organisations from Punjab, the major organ of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) decided at a meeting held on the Singhu border on Wednesday, 5 May.

Chaired by Baldev Singh Nihalgarh, the meeting hosted state-level leaders of all organisations.

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, Balbir Singh Rejwal said, “It is the decision of 32 farmer unions of Punjab that on 8 May, a large number of farmers, labourers, shopkeepers will come out on the streets and protest against the lockdown.”

The farmers’ leader added that the central government had failed to provide proper healthcare and basic facilities like oxygen, beds, medicines, etc to the citizens, and “while the BJP is claiming that the farmers are spreading the corona, the farmers are taking necessary precautions and vaccinations”.

A press note by the SKM stated, “Governments are imposing lockdowns to hide their failures and to take anti-people decisions, which are affecting the lives of farmers, labourers, shopkeepers and common citizens.”

Buta Singh Burjgil added that on 10 and 12 May, large groups of farmers from Punjab will leave for Delhi borders via Khanori and Sambhu borders and the protest will be strengthened.

The decision came in the wake of Punjab recording 7,601 new COVID-19 cases and 173 deaths on Wednesday.

In view of the COVID surge, the Punjab government had imposed stricter COVID curbs on Sunday by ordering all shops, except those selling essential items, to shut down till 15 May.

The government had also appealed to farmers, urging them to not hold protest marches and curb presence to mere token numbers at petrol pumps, toll plazas and malls.

However, according farmer leader Bogh Singh Mansa, the protesters had expressed their anger against the BJP by voting against the party in state elections.

Farmer leaders stressed that they were ready to talk to the government. “The government should stop maligning the farmers and initiate the talks with good intentions and in a good environment,” a press note by the SKM stated.

For months now, thousands of farmers from Punjab and Haryana have been camping on the borders of the national capital – Singhu and Tikri – in protest against the three new agriculture laws brought in by the Modi government, demanding their complete revocation.

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