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Protesting Indian Farmers’ Leader Urges US President to Raise Their Concerns While Meeting PM Modi

© REUTERS / DANISH SIDDIQUIFarmers take part in a tractor rally to protest against farm laws on the occasion of India's Republic Day in Delhi, India, January 26, 2021
Farmers take part in a tractor rally to protest against farm laws on the occasion of India's Republic Day in Delhi, India, January 26, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.09.2021
Thousands of farmers in India have been protesting at the borders of the nation's capital since November against three farm laws passed by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Parliament. They are demanding these laws be scrapped for fear of being left at the mercy of big corporations as a result of these new laws.
The leader of the protesting Indian farmers, Rakesh Tikait, on Friday urged US President Joe Biden to focus on their concerns when he meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York.
The head of the farmers' group -- Bharatiya Kisan Union -- also called on Indians living in the US to hold a protest during Prime Minister Modi’s programme on Saturday in support of their 11-month demonstration at the borders of Delhi.
The farmers' union leader claimed that more than 700 farmers have died during the protest but still the Prime Minister Modi-led federal government is not willing to consider scrapping the new laws.
The three farm laws against which the farmers are protesting are: 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) Ordinance 2020.
Several rounds of talks between farmers and the BJP-led federal government have already taken place but without yielding any result.
Modi has been visiting the US since Wednesday. His schedule includes meeting US President Biden and he will also address the 76th session of the UN General Assembly on Saturday.
The Indian Prime Minister met US vice-president Kamala Harris on Thursday. The two politicians exchanged views on a number of matters including the situation in Afghanistan, the coronavirus pandemic, tackling climate change and the US and India’s commitment toward the Indo-Pacific region. They also discussed potential cooperation in areas such as outer space, technology and healthcare.
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