Farmer’s “Chalo Delhi” protest intensifies, what are the Demands?

After successfully pressuring the Modi government to repeal three controversial farm laws following a year-long protest at Delhi’s borders, farmer unions from Punjab have once again mobilized, this time with a new set of demands. One of the primary demands is for a legal guarantee of minimum support prices (MSP) for crops.

The decision to march to Delhi, termed “Delhi Chalo,” was made after talks in Chandigarh failed to make progress, resulting in a stalemate between the government and the farmer unions.

Haryana sealed its borders with Punjab on February 8. A massive 12-layer barricade has been erected at the Shambhu Barrier on National highway 1 leading to Delhi, and multiple barricades have been set up at Fatehabad, Khanauri, Dabwali, etc. The Internet has been shut down in several districts.

Rajasthan sealed its borders with Punjab and Haryana on 11th February , and imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC in Sri Ganganagar and Hanumangarh districts.

The protesting farmers at the Ghazipur Border of Delhi back in 2020.

Delhi has imposed a month-long ban on public meetings, along with the entry of tractors, trolleys and anything “capable of being used as weapons or tools of violence” in the city for a month. Intensive checking will take place at pickets along routes bordering the capital by the Delhi and Uttar Pradesh Police with the latter advising commuters to utilise the metro to avoid congestion.

What are the demands of the protesting Farmers?

  1. A law to guarantee minimum support price (MSP) for all crops, and setting of crop prices as per Dr. M S Swaminathan Commission’s report. 
  2.  Full debt waiver for farmers and laborers.
  3.  Implementation of the Land Acquisition Act of 2013, with provisions for written consent from farmers before acquisition, and compensation at four times the collector rate.
  4. Punishment for the perpetrators of the October 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri killings.
  5. Withdrawal from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and freeze of all free trade agreements.
  6.  Pensions for farmers and farm laborers.
  7. Compensation for farmers who died during the Delhi protest, including a job for one family member.
  8. Scrapping of Electricity Amendment Bill 2020.
  9. 200 (instead of 100) days’ employment under MGNREGA per year, a daily wage of Rs 700, and the scheme should be linked with farming.
  10. Strict penalties and fines on companies producing fake seeds, pesticides, fertilizers; improvements in seed quality.
  11.  National commission for spices such as chili and turmeric.
  12. Ensure the Rights of indigenous people over water, forests, and land, stopping companies from plundering Tribal Lands.