Farmers start ‘pucca morcha’ against AAP-led Punjab govt at Chandigarh-Mohali border to press demands

Opposing AAP government’s decision -- paddy sowing schedule announced by CM Bhagwant Mann -- along with 10 other demands, the farmers of the state are up in arms against Punjab government

Farmers start ‘pucca morcha’ against AAP-led Punjab govt at Chandigarh-Mohali border to press demands
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Bipin Bhardwaj

Hundreds of farmers associated with different farmers’ unions of Punjab on Tuesday started an indefinite dharna (pucca morcha) at the Chandigarh-Mohali border against the AAP-led Punjab government for not considering their demands.

Ignoring the peasants, who had converged at Amb Sahib Gurdwara in Mohali to hold a peaceful march towards Chandigarh, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann left for Delhi to meet Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

This left the protesters fuming, who aggressively marched ahead and after breaking barriers erected by the Punjab Police staged a pucca morcha on the Chandigarh-Mohali border.

Holding flags, hundreds of members of over 23 farmers’ unions had reached the venue in their tractors and trailers, cars, motorcycles and other means of transportation.

Even though the state government had called the farmers’ leaders for a meeting with a government delegation, they turned down the offer and demanded a meeting with CM Mann. This led to a stand-off between the government and the union leaders.

To restrict farmers’ entry to the Union Territory of Chandigarh, the Punjab and Chandigarh police have deployed adequate police forces and machinery besides setting up a three-tier layer of barricades on the road connecting Chandigarh with Mohali.

Braving the scorching heat, the protesters broke the first layer of barricades and staged a permanent dharna at the second layer, where they were stopped by the police force.

Opposing the AAP government’s decision - paddy sowing schedule announced by CM Bhagwant Mann -- along with 10 other demands, the farmers of the state are up in arms against the Punjab government.

The farmers’ unions had announced to hold ‘pucca morcha’ in state capital Chandigarh after their talks with state government officials led by Power Minister Harbhajan Singh failed.


The farmers have been demanding that they be allowed to go in for paddy transplantation from June 10 and not June 18, as ordered by the state.

The government had said that uninterrupted eight hour power supply to the agriculture submersible pump set consumers will be given in zones on the dates announced by them.

The farmers are also demanding that the fee charged for increasing the power load should be decreased.

Besides this, they are also protesting against the conversion of 85,000 smart meters into pre-paid meters. They also want the government to ensure farmers get MSP on corn and notify the decision to give them MSP on Moong. The farmers say that though MSP on 23 crops has been announced, farmers get MSP only on wheat and paddy.

The farmers’ leaders have warned the Mann government to face Singhu and Tikri type protests if their demands were not met.

They said any official and minister from the government is welcome to their morcha site but the standoff will continue till CM Bhagwant Mann meets them personally.

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