Following a mahapanchayat in the district, farmers on Monday stopped the Delhi-Chandigarh highway (NH-44) for the second time in six days to demand a minimum support price for sunflower seed and the release of BKU (Charuni) leaders. The Pipli grain market hosted the “MSP dilao, kisan bachao maha panchayat”. Participants included thousands of farm activists and leaders from many states. Around 2:30 p.m., they assembled on the roadway and blocked it after receiving no response from the government. Despite the presence of numerous police officers, they were not stopped by force.
Reason for protest
- Farmers from Haryana stopped a national highway to Delhi today in protest over not receiving a Minimum Support Price (MSP) in the purchase of sunflower crops because they were dissatisfied with the relief that the Chief Minister had provided. At a “mahapanchayat” meeting in the Pipli village of Kurukshetra district, they decided to halt traffic on National Highway 44. On the Delhi-Chandigarh road, traffic has been redirected to reduce congestion.
- At the Pipli grain market, farm leaders from the neighbouring states of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and others came to press their demand for the maha panchayat “MSP Dilao, Kisan Bachao.”
- In accordance with the Bhavantar Bharpai Yojana (BBY) – price differential payment plan, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar digitally distributed 29.13 crores as interim “bharpai (relief)” to 8,528 farmers for sunflowers cultivated on 36,414 acres. Sunflowers were included in the BBY programme earlier this year, which is a programme through which the state government compensates farmers for crops sold below MSP. For the sunflower harvest sold below the MSP, the state government is providing 1,000 per quintal as interim support under the programme. The state government must purchase sunflowers at an MSP of 6,400 per quintal, according to the farmers’ demands.
- Some agricultural leaders spoke before the maha panchayat and condemned the government for its “anti-farmers” policies and police measures against their representatives. They asked the recent arrests of demonstrators in Shahabad are dropped and that the government purchase sunflower seeds from MSP.