Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that he will be observing a one-day fast on Monday in support of the farmers protesting against the farm laws.
Kejriwal said he will observe the fast in response to a call given by the agitating farmers and urged his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) volunteers, supporters, as well as the people of the country to join in.
Earlier, on December 9, when farmers announced Bharat Bandh, CM Kejriwal had told that he would visit protest sites. However, he could not visit as his party leaders alleged that Delhi Police kept the CM "virtually" under house arrest after he met protesting farmers camped at the Singhu border. Police denied the contention and said his movement was not barred in any way.
Kejriwal and his AAP party have been very vocal about the latest farmers' protest happening at the borders of the national capital. The CM has also expressed anguish that some union ministers were labelling protesting farmers as "traitors" and "anti-national".
Kejriwal compared the "defaming" of the farmers protest with Anna Hazare's movement of which he was a top leader.
"I could not help but reminisce the days of Anna Hazare Ji's movement. The Congress government defamed us as anti-nationals. What Congress did to our movement, the BJP is doing the same to the farmers' protest," he said.
However, Union IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in one of his recent press conferences, claimed that the new agriculture act was "notified by Delhi government" back in November itself, adding he couldn't understand what his protest now is for.
In fact, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh also called Kejriwal's announcement of observing a fast on Monday as "theatrics". Singh said the Kejriwal government had "backstabbed" the farmers by "shamelessly" notifying one of the farm laws on November 23.
On Monday, the heads of all farmer unions protesting against the Centre's new Agri laws will observe a one-day hunger strike. The hunger strike between 8 am and 5 pm, also dharnas will be staged at all district headquarters across the country and the farmers will submit a memorandum of demands addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Farmers' protest in the national capital has entered 17th day on Monday. The farmers are protesting against the three contentious agricultural laws that were passed in Parliament's monsoon session.
Soon, after the laws became and Act, the farmers in various parts of the countries began their protest, however, when they felt their demands were not heard, they launched their "Delhi Chalo" march on November 27.
During their march, farmers faced water cannons and tear gas at the Delhi-Haryana border near Ambala. The protesters, on the other hand, threw stones at barricades, lifted police barricades and dropped them into the river.
Farmer leaders have been firm on their demand for the repeal of three new farm laws enacted in September. Farmer leaders have claimed that the laws will benefit corporates and end the mandi system and the minimum support price (MSP) regime.
The government has maintained that it is committed to the welfare of farmers and has presented these laws as major reforms for their benefit.
Several rounds of talks have happened between the union ministers, including Agricultural Minister Narendra Singh Tomar with farmers leaders but the deadlock has continued.