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Delhi Chalo 2.0: Why are the farmers protesting again and what are their key demands?

“Delhi Chalo 2.0” refers to the renewed protests by farmers in India, particularly those from states like Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. 

Here’s the reason behind the Delhi protest:

Repeal of Farm Laws: The central demand of the farmers is the repeal of three contentious farm laws passed by the Indian government in September 2020:

  • The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020
  • The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020
  • The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020

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Concerns Over Corporatization: Farmers fear that these laws will lead to the corporatization of agriculture, allowing big corporations to exploit them and weaken the existing agricultural marketing system, particularly the mandi system.

Minimum Support Price (MSP): Farmers are demanding a legal guarantee for the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their crops. They argue that without such a guarantee, they would be at the mercy of corporate buyers who might not offer fair prices.

Withdrawal of Electricity Amendment Bill and Air Quality Ordinance: In addition to the farm laws, farmers are also demanding the withdrawal of the Electricity Amendment Bill, which they fear would lead to higher electricity prices for agricultural use. They also oppose the Air Quality Management Ordinance, which they say unfairly targets farmers over air pollution issues.

Solidarity with Farmers’ Union Leaders: There’s also a demand for the release of farmer leaders who were arrested during the previous protests, including those arrested after the violence during the tractor rally on Republic Day 2021.

Suspension of Internet: In some areas, farmers have also protested against the suspension of Internet services by the government, which they see as an attempt to stifle their voices and disrupt communication among protesters.

The farmers’ protests have become a significant movement, drawing support not only from farmers but also from various other sections of society, including opposition parties, activists, and even international figures. The protesters have been camping at various borders of Delhi for months, conducting rallies, sit-ins, and other forms of peaceful demonstrations to press their demands.

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