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Indian farmers defiant in opposition to reform as Modi tries to calm anger

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© Reuters. Protest in opposition to newly handed farm payments close to Delhi

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By Manoj Kumar

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – 1000’s of Indian farmers, indignant over reform of the agriculture sector, held a 3rd day of protests on the outskirts of the capital on Sunday, blocking roads into the town and defying a authorities attraction to maneuver to a chosen web site.

The federal government on Saturday invited farmers’ union leaders for talks on new laws to decontrol agricultural however that has not calmed farmers’ anger over what many see “anti-farm legal guidelines”, and their motion gave the impression to be spreading.

“We’ll keep put right here at this time,” mentioned Rakesh Tikait, spokesman of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, one in every of greater than 30 protesting unions, as he and his members blocked a highway on the jap approaches to Delhi.

The farmers object to laws launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authorities in September that may let farmers promote their produce wherever, together with to large company consumers like Walmart (NYSE:), not simply at government-regulated wholesale markets the place growers are assured of a minimal value.

Small growers fear they are going to be left susceptible to large enterprise and will finally lose value assist for staples resembling wheat and rice.

Modi sought to allay farmers’ considerations on Sunday.

“From these reforms, farmers will get new rights and alternatives,” he mentioned in his month-to-month radio handle.

However one farm union chief mentioned many protesters had been demanding that the federal government withdraw the legal guidelines.

“The farmers’ leaders will meet in a while Sunday to resolve their response to the federal government,” he mentioned, referring to the federal government’s name for talks.

The protests started with farmers from the northern states of Haryana and Punjab on the outskirts of New Delhi on Friday, when police fired tear gasoline and water cannon in a bid to disperse them. [L1N2ID09V]

However as an alternative farmers from the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh joined in over the weekend, blocking roads to the east of the capital.

Media reported protests by farmers within the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala on Saturday.

Costs of contemporary produce costs at wholesale markets within the metropolis started to tick up and commuters have confronted journey disruption.

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