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Farmers’ protest 2.0: How is ‘Delhi Chalo’ march different from 2020’s stir? 5 points

Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh farmers take to the street — in 2024 — with more than 200 farmer unions heading to Delhi on Tuesday after the last round of talks between the farmer leaders and the Union ministers remained inconclusive on Monday night. Union minister Arjun Munda said on most of the issues raised by the farmers a consensus was reached and the government proposed to form a committee to address the rest. Farmer leaders said there was no clarity of legal guarantee to the minimum support price.

Police personnel stand guard during traffic restrictions near the Shambhu border (Punjab-Haryana) ahead of the farmers’ Delhi Chalo march on February 13.(PTI)

The farmers will start their Delhi Chalo march at 10am but the Haryana government has put up a major fencing around the state to make sure the protesters can not enter Haryana from Punjab. The borders of Delhi have been fortified in an attempt to not allow the rerun of farmers’ 2020-21 protest.

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How farmers’ protest 2.0 is different from farmers’ 2020 protest | 5 points

1. Why farmers are protesting now: In 2020, the farmers protested against the three laws which after one year of their protest on Delhi borders were repealed in 2021.

Delhi Chalo was announced in 2023 demanding a legal guarantee to MSP for all crops, the implementation of Swaminathan Commission’s formula, full debt waiver for farmers, pension for farmers and labourers, withdrawal of cases against farmers during the 2020-21 protest.

2. Who is leading the protest?

Farmers protest 2.0 is being spearheaded by different unions as the landscape of the farmers’ unions has changed in the last few years.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha have announced Delhi Chalo 2.0.

Bhartiya Kisan Union, Samyukt Kisan Morcha which led the 2020 protest of the farmers witnessed several factionalism.

3. Rakesh Tikait, Gurnam Singh Charuni not part of Delhi Chalo 2.0

The two prominent leaders of the farmers’ 2020 protest were Rakesh Tikait and Gurnam Singh Charuni. But they are nowhere to be seen as the farmers take to the street four years later. Jagjit Singh Dallewal, leader of SKM (non-political) and Sarwan Singh Pandher, general secretary of Sarwan Singh Pandher, are at the forefront now.

4. Massive security, blockades to not allow farmers to reach Delhi

In 2020, farmers were able to come– to the national capital but this time the administration has taken strict pre-emptive measures. Barbed wire, cement barricade, nails on roads — all roads to Delhi have been blocked. Section 144 has been imposed in Delhi. Haryana government sealed its borders with Punjab.

5. Govt’s response: The government started the negotiation process even before the farmers’ Delhi Chalo march this time. The first meeting between the farmer leaders and the Union ministers took place on February 8. The second meeting took place on February 12.

The government, according to reports, accepted the demand to withdraw all cases against farmers registered during the 2020-21 agitation against the now-repealed farm laws but there was no leag guarantee of MSP.

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