Farmers Resolve To Intensify Protest, Continue It During Lok Sabha Polls

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Farmers Resolve To Intensify Protest, Continue It During Lok Sabha Polls

A union leader said the demands of the farmers have been neglected for years.

New Delhi:

Thousands of farmers on Thursday participated in the ‘Kisan Mazdoor Mahapanchayat’ at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan where a resolution was passed to intensify the protest against the Centre’s policies regarding the farming sector and to continue the stir during the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

This was perhaps the biggest gathering of farmers in the national capital after their agitation at Delhi’s borders ended in 2021 following the repeal of the three contentious farm laws by the Centre.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmer organisations that spearheaded the 2021 protest, adopted the resolution to “intensify the fight against the policies of the Union government to save farming, food security, land and livelihoods of the people”.

It also vowed to continue its stir during the upcoming Lok Sabha polls if its demands are not met, according to the resolution.

Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait told reporters, “We held a meeting here and a message has gone to the government that farmers of our country are united. The government should talk to us to resolve the issue. This agitation is not going to stop anytime soon and it will spread from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.”

Mr Tikait said the government wants to destroy the country by turning the farmers into labourers.

“They have already ended the ‘mandi’ system in Bihar and now they want to do it across the country. This way, they want the farmers to become labourers,” he said.

He also said the government wants to break the unity of farmers by forming different farmers’ unions.

“They want to divide us based on caste, religion, regionalism and language,” he charged.

Krantikari Kisan Union leader Darshan Pal, who also participated in the mahapanchayat, said the demands of the farmers have been neglected for years.

“We have been holding agitations since 2021 and their charters have already been sent to the President and the Prime Minister but nothing has happened so far,” he said.

“Today, we discussed the same issues and again informed the farmers who came here from various parts of the country about our demands. We also passed a resolution to continue our agitation and target the policies of BJP during the election period as well,” he added.

Mr Pal also showed his displeasure over the limited gathering permitted by the Delhi Police at the Ramlila Maidan.

“We were not allowed to come to Delhi. The permission for the ‘mahapanchayat’ was given at the eleventh hour with several restrictions like only 5,000 farmers could come. The farmers were not allowed to go to gurdwaras and they were also stopped at railway stations,” he claimed.

The farmers also raised slogans against the Union government at the protest venue. Several women farmers also joined the protest.

There were yellow, red, blue and white coloured flags that were carried by different farmers signifying their affiliation to different farm unions.

Farmers from states like Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal had come for the mahapanchayat.

Harman Singh, a farmer from Punjab’s Patiala, said he arrived in the capital on Wednesday night.

“We want the Centre’s policies to be pro-farmers. We also want our demand for an MSP (minimum support price) on crops to be fulfilled,” he said.

Ravinder Singh, a farmer from Punjab’s Bathinda, said action should be taken against the accused in the violence that erupted in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri in October 2021.

“We want action against the person who drove his car over farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri. The family members of the victim should get compensation and a government job,” he said.

Layak Singh, who was carrying a small plough on his shoulder, said he came to Delhi from Himachal Pradesh and was upset with the policies of the Centre.

“My family completely depends on farming and if the situation of the farmers remains the same, we will have to opt for some other work,” Singh said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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