New Delhi: A day after visiting farmers protesting against the Government of India’s new farm laws in Delhi’s Singhu border, Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal has been put under house arrest.

“Delhi Police has put Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal under house arrest after he visited farmers at Singhu Border yesterday”, tweeted Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

“CM Kejriwal met farmers at Singhu border yesterday. He had said that we’ll serve them like ‘Sevadars’ and support them. After he returned, Delhi Police barricaded his residence from all sides, putting him in a house-arrest like situation, at the behest of Home Ministry,” a report by news agency ANI quoted AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwajas saying.

However, Delhi Police has rubbished Aam Aadmi Party’s claims of Kejriwal being put under house arrest.

“It is a general deployment to avoid any clash between AAP and any other party. CM has not been put under house arrest: Anto Alphonse, DCP North, Delhi”.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday visited the Singhu border, where thousands of farmers are protesting against the GoI’s new farm laws, and checked arrangements made for them by the city government.

The visit comes a day after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) extended its support to the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by farmers’ organisations on December 8.

Kejriwal was accompanied by his Cabinet ministers and some party MLAs during the brief visit to the protest venue on the Delhi-Haryana border.

“I checked the arrangements. We received a lot of pressure to allow the use of stadiums as temporary prisons but we did not give permission and I feel this helped the movement. Since then our party MLAs and ministers have been involved in ensuring that farmers do not face any discomfort,” Kajriwal was quoted as having said.

Pertinently, anger against the GoI has been simmering since the month of September when the parliament of India passed three farm laws. From last many days, thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have been marching toward the New Delhi and are nearing the borders.

After failing to garner support from their respective state governments, the farmers have decided to mount pressure on the GoI, due to which they are coming to Delhi.

In UP and Haryana, BJP led governments have failed to convince farmers, however, governments of Rajasthan and Punjab have extended full support to their agitation.

Farmers want GoI to either withdraw the three legislations or guarantee them the minimum support price (MSP) for their crops by introducing a new law.

Gurnam Singh Chaduni is leading the protestors from Haryana. Gurnam had contested the 2019 Assembly elections from Ladwa constituency in Kurukshetra district, but got only 1,307 votes. However, he was quite active in raising farmers’ issues and led several protests across the state.

Apart from Gurnam, several national and regional farm unions, comprising many leaders, have joined hands under the umbrella banner of Samyukt Kisan Morcha.

As farmers do not accept the three new legislations — The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation); The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance; and Farm Services and The Essential Commodities (Amendment), they believe the laws will open agricultural sale and marketing outside the notified Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis for farmers, remove the barriers to inter-state trade, and provide a framework for electronic trading of agricultural produce.

Since the state governments will not be able to collect market fee, cess or levy for trade outside the APMC markets, farmers believe the laws will gradually end the mandi system and leave farmers at the mercy of corporates.

They are also of the opinion that dismantling the mandi system will bring an end to the assured procurement of their crops at MSP. Similarly, farmers believe the price assurance legislation may offer protection to farmers against price exploitation, but will not prescribe the mechanism for price fixation.

Farmers are demanding the government guarantee MSP in writing, or else the free hand given to private corporate houses will lead to their exploitation.

 

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