The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has announced that farmers will block the Western Peripheral Expressway or Kundli–Manesar–Palwal (KMP) Expressway on March 6 as their agitation against the farm laws completes 100 days. According to a statement issued by the Morcha, farmers will block the expressway for 5 hours between 11 AM and 4 PM. Today is the 97th day of the protest.
"March 6 will mark the 100th day of the farmers' protest on the borders of Delhi. On that day, there will be a 5-hour blockade on the KMP Expressway connecting various protest sites. The blockade will be between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and no toll will be collected at the toll plazas during this time," farmer leader Balvir Singh Rajewal said.
"In the rest of the country, the day will be marked by hoisting black flags on houses and offices to support the movement. The SKM members will be wearing black bands on that day as a mark of protest," he added.
The Western Peripheral Expressway is a 6-lane (each direction) road. The 135-km expressway was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018. It provides high-speed link between northern and southern districts of Haryana. The road was built to decongest the roads of Delhi by reducing the number of trucks entering the national capital.
On March 8, the SKM will observe 'Mahila Kisan Diwas'. The Morcha has invited women's organisations and others on that day to support the farmers' movement.
Rajewal also said that the SKM is working on a strategy for the states where Assembly elections are scheduled. The members of the farmers' body will visit the poll-bound states Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Union Territory Puducherry to participate in various programmes.
On March 15, the SKM along with the Central trade unions will mark the day as 'anti-privatisation' day. The SKM will support the call of trade unions by marking the day as 'anti-corporatisation' day and extend solidarity to the protests of trade unions across the country. The SKM said that it will also launch a 'MSP Dilao Abhiyan'.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at Delhi's borders demanding rollback of the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. Farmers are opposing the laws, terming them against their interest as it will dismantle the mandi system and the MSP structure. Besides, they believe that the laws will give power to corporates over their lands.
However, the three laws -- enacted in September 2020, have been projected by the Central government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country. The government has repeatedly assured the farmers that these three laws will not do away with MSP and mandis.