There is a mixed response of Bharat Bandh called by the farmers protesting against the Centre’s new farm laws. The Bharat Bandh has been supported by over 20 political parties. Demonstrations by protestors continue in different parts of the country. 

Amid the protest, Union Minister Smriti Irani has attacked the opposition over the farm bills, saying that they couldn’t get public support through vote so they’re breaking the law and order for political benefits.

“The opposition, which could not get the support of the public through the vote, has come out today to break the law and order so that it can shine its politics. Somewhere there is political interference that anarchy spreads,” she said.

“When the bills were present in the parliament, the opposition had portrayed that government will stop MSP operation and shut the APMC mandis. The govt didn’t do it. In fact, the government assured that MSP operations will be improved further,” she added.

Launching a scathing attack on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the union minister said that he supported the bills when he notified a gazette. “Arvind Kejriwal had shown his support for the farm bills when he notified a gazette. Gazette is notified when the government accepts a bill administratively and politically. So he has given his acceptance to this bill already,” Irani said.

This comes as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi has claimed that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been put under house arrest on Tuesday. 

“CM met farmers at Singhu border yesterday. He had said that we’ll serve them like ‘Sevadars’ and support them. After he returned, Delhi Police barricaded his residence from all sides, putting him in a house-arrest like situation, at the behest of Home Ministry,” AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj said at a press conference.

The Delhi Police has, however, denied the claims and said that the CM hasn’t been put under house arrest.

“It is a general deployment to avoid any clash between AAP and any other party. CM has not been put under house arrest,” DCP North Delhi Anto Alphonse said.

DNA had earlier reported how Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, who once advocated major reforms in agricultural laws, is also advising the Center on the new legislations. Pawar will meet President Ram Nath Kovind on December 9 on this matter.

On August 11, 2010, Sharad Pawar wrote a letter to the then Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, stating the need for private sector participation in the agriculture sector. Not only this, Pawar was advocating changes in the APMC Act, which is the centre of the protests right now, in 2010 itself.  He also reminded the then Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dixit about the earlier letters of May 25, 2005 and May 12, 2007 written in this regard.

A similar letter was written by Sharad Pawar in November 2011 to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. In this letter, Pawar wrote that private sector participation can be important for agricultural reforms. He also advocated a change in the APMC Act with Shivraj.

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