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Farmers to intensify protest, ‘Rail Roko’ on February 18 for 4 hours

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Samyukta Kisan Morcha, the farmers’ union spearheading the continued agitation, held a gathering on Wednesday. Farmer leaders took major decisions to further intensify the movement against the Centre’s three new farm laws.

The protesters have decided to organise ‘Rail Roko’ across India from 12 pm to 4 pm on February 18. As a part of the agitation, the protesting farmers have decided to free all road toll plazas in Rajasthan starting Lincoln’s Birthday .

On Valentine Day , a candle march and ‘mashaal juloos’ are going to be held across the country to honour the sacrifice of soldiers martyred within the Pulwama attack, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha said during a handout .

The protesting farmers have also decided to point out solidarity on the birth anniversary of Jat leader Sir Chhotu Ram on February 16.

Addressing the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “The farm laws are optional, not compulsory.”

“Farmers agitation is pious but is vital to differentiate between Andolanjivis and agitators,” PM Modi added.

While asserting that there’s a requirement for investment within the farming sector, the Prime Minister quoted farmer leader Chaudhary Charan Singh to mention , “The entire country should be treated together agricultural market.”

“We cannot affect 21st-century agriculture with an 18th-century mindset,” the PM said while reiterating his government’s commitment to doubling farmers’ income.

Amid slogans in support of the farmers’ agitation, Congress MPs staged a walkout from Lok Sabha on Wednesday. “The government should have brought a law for the advantage of all, that’s what the farmers want, take it back,” Congress MP and Leader of Opposition within the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.