Indian National Trade Union Congress and Left parties staged a protest at Chennamma Circle in Hubli, Karnataka, on Monday against the Central as well as state government, for the passage of farm sector reform laws, land reform ordinances, amendments to APMC, and labour laws.
Earlier today, some farmers’ organisations offered flowers to shopkeepers in Hubli, requesting them to support the statewide bandh.
Workers of Congress, Janata Dal (Secular) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) were detained in Madikeri of Kodagu district after they staged a protest against the agriculture sector reform laws.
Farmers’ organisations in Karnataka have called for a state-wide bandh today to protest against the passage of farm sector reform laws, land reform ordinances, amendments to APMC, and labour laws.
The new farm sector reform laws are The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Service Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
The protesters in Karnataka are also protesting against two other important amendments passed by the state assembly, the Karnataka Land Reforms Act and the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act.
It is to be noted that Congress has been protesting against the Karnataka government and asking for the revocation of the Land Reforms (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 since it was announced.
In August, Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to direct Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to revoke the Land Reforms (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 which the state government promulgated in July.
In the letter he called the bill an attempt by the Karnataka government to dilute farmers’ rights, saying Karnataka state government cabinet had promulgated the Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, to amend the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961, removing restrictions on non-agriculturists purchasing agriculture lands and doubling the ceiling on land holdings.
However, as per media reports, on September 22, the state government tabled “The Karnataka Land Reforms (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020″ in the assembly, to replace the Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) Ordinance, 2030. The new bill will further ease restrictions on buying agricultural land, and ceiling on the extent of land one can hold.
The amendments in the provision of the APMC Act will allow corporates to procure agriculture produce directly from farmers, which was earlier restricted.