The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government is reported to have quietly notified one of the three farm laws that farmers from across the country are opposing. Lakhs of farmers are still gathering at the mass agitation that is now being staged on the Delhi border. Farmers representatives are also holding talks with the Union Agriculture Minister today, days after the protest reached the Delhi border crossing many state-ordered hurdles along the way.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leadership, meanwhile, had empathised with the farmers and offered to make arrangements needed for the farmers sitting on the peaceful dharna. However, Manoj Tiwari has all but pulled the plug on the goodwill the AAP leadership had managed to gather in the city. Tiwari, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Member of Parliament representing Delhi (North-East), made public news that the Delhi government had notified one of the contentious farm laws passed by the BJP-led Union Government. He shared the Gazette notification by Delhi government and mocked Chief Minister Kejriwal, sharing that he “implemented” one of the “Farmers Bill 2020 in Delhi on November 23” and yet the AAP politicians are “falsely” supporting the farmers agitation against those laws.
अरे मुख्यमंत्री @ArvindKejriwal जी आपने #FarmersBill2020 दिल्ली में 23 November को लागू कर दिया तो ये बता तो दो सबको..झूठे ही आपके MLA भाग दौड़ कर रहें है. #ISupportFarmerBill pic.twitter.com/xjiv6CZEP4
— Manoj Tiwari (@ManojTiwariMP) November 30, 2020
On November 23, the Delhi government notified the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance 2020, stated the Indian Express. The notification of Ordinance now allows trade of food grains and poultry outside the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandi (wholesale market) premises. As reported by multiple news media, even though the Delhi government has allowed sale of fruits and vegetables outside APMCs since 2014, the central law now “allows farmers to sell food grains and poultry outside their designated mandis as well.” As the new Central government laws override the state APMC Act, APMC regulations are not implemented outside the physical boundaries of APMC mandis. The mandis continue to operate as before.
Right Wing media has noted this as an example to claim that the farmers’ fears are baseless. The Delhi government notification has added and redefined the market zones around APMC mandis at Najafgarh, Narela and Ghazipur areas. While there has been no official word from the Delhi Government on why the law was notified just as the farmers protest reached the national capital region, this is bound to add controversy to a sensitive issue. The AAP members, meanwhile, are sharing continuous updates on social media showcasing the various ways they are supporting the farmers protest.
दिल्ली जल बोर्ड के उपाध्यक्ष और विधायक @raghav_chadha ने सिंघु बॉर्डर पर बैठे किसानों से मुलाकात की एवं केजरीवाल सरकार द्वारा मुहैया करवाई जा रही सुविधाओं का जायज़ा लिया। दिल्ली की केजरीवाल सरकार पहले दिन से किसानों की मूलभूत सुविधाओं का ध्यान रख रही है। pic.twitter.com/brzMayh00H
— Office of Raghav Chadha (@RaghavChadhaOfc) November 30, 2020
— Ajesh Yadav (@AAPAjeshYadav) December 1, 2020
आज टिकरी बॉर्डर पर संघर्षरत किसान साथियों से मिला।
हम ये सुनिश्चित कर रहे हैं कि बुराड़ी ग्राउंड में किसानों को किसी तरह की कोई समस्या नहीं हो।
हम हर कदम पर किसानों के साथ और किसान विरोधी सरकार के खिलाफ खड़े हैं। pic.twitter.com/N20H12QgyI
— Sanjeev Jha (@Sanjeev_aap) November 30, 2020
एक तरफ केंद्र सरकार बातचीत करने को कह रही है, दूसरी तरफ किसानों को प्यासा रखा जा रहा है।
दिल्ली सरकार ने दर्जन भर पानी के टैंकर भेजे, जिन्हें टीकरी बॉर्डर पर दिल्ली पुलिस ने रोक दिए हैं। ये तो अत्याचार है, क्रूरता है।#FarmerProtest pic.twitter.com/XtBq1lmW1b
— Saurabh Bharadwaj (@Saurabh_MLAgk) December 1, 2020
The Delhi Government too was invited to give a presentation to the farmers’ leaders on Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act at the Farmer-Government meeting, at Vigyan Bhawan, tweeted ANI.