India’s farmers on Wednesday rejected the government’s proposal to amend three controversial laws and said they would step up protests seeking withdrawal of these laws which they said would harm their economic interests while helping big food retailers.
“The farmers have rejected the government’s proposals,” Darshan Pal, president of Krantikari Kisan Union, told reporters after the meeting of over 30 farmers’ unions.
Farmers leaders said they would intensify nationwide protests from Saturday that would include boycott of the leaders of Modi’s ruling party, blocking of national highways and picketing at toll plazas.
Expressing their anger towards large domestic corporations and retailers, including Reliance Industries and Adani Enterprises, farmer leaders said they would boycott the products and services of these companies.
There was no immediate comment from both the companies.
The majority of farmers believes the news laws could pave the way for some of India’s leading corporations to enter the Indian agriculture trade, leaders said.
In a separate statement, Adani Group said the company had no role in the direct purchase or sale of the farm produce, and was only hired by the government agencies for storage of the produce.
Earlier, Indian government officials looked for ways to tweak new laws liberalising the agricultural sector, after they put off a second day of talks with farmer organisations that have mobilised mass protests.