A large number of shanty farmers headed to Delhi in search of ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’, says Samyukt Kisan Morcha

Social activist Madha Patekar speaks in the presence of Samyukt leaders Kisan Morcha Darshan Pal and Hannan Mullah during a press conference in New Delhi on March 19, 2023 before the ‘kisan mahapanchayat’ at Ramlila grounds on March 20, 2023. | Image source: ANI

Sixteen months after the center agreed to repeal three controversial agricultural marketing laws, ending a year-long massive protest of farmers on the borders of the national capital, the group that spearheaded agitation plans to reconvene a rally on Delhi’s vast Ramlila land on March 19 to remind the center of other broken promises. To be fulfilled before the protesters are dispersed in November 2021.

Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a coordinating coalition of protesting farmers’ groups, will hold a ceremony Kisan Mahapanchayator a large crowd of farmers, to demand that the Center fulfill its obligations in connection with a law to guarantee minimum subsidy prices for all crops, and also to withdraw the cases brought against the demonstrators during the agitation.

‘Next round of protests’

“The farm laws have been withdrawn, but if the center continues to ignore the assurances given to us at the time of stopping the agitation, we will strengthen the protests. Senior SKM leader Hanan Mallah, who is also vice president of the left-wing All India Alliance Kisan Sabha, told reporters on Sunday. Mahapanchayat will be the start of the next round of nationwide protests.

SKM leaders also urged the center to immediately withdraw the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, which is now being considered by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy. The center had promised that it would consult with SKM on the (amended) electricity bill. But no one has contacted us yet. Our position is to withdraw the entire bill. If implemented, it will lead to a 200 to 300% increase in electricity bills,” added Mr. Al-Mulla.

peaceful programme

Another senior SKM leader, Darshan Pal, who is also the president of the Krantikari Kisan Union in Punjab, said that if Delhi police or other authorities try to stop farmers from entering Delhi or the land of Ramlila, they will not hesitate to sit at the border again. Farmers started coming to Delhi. It will be a peaceful program where farmers will voice their problems. d said. pal.

Also read | The panel discussion on MSP, natural farming, and crop diversification begins

Earlier Sunday, SKM constituents held a meeting and condemned the “pro-corporate orientation in development”, saying the center undermines farm incomes and instead facilitates the grab of farmland, forest reserves and natural resources to aid corporate profits.

“SKM leaders will elaborate on the impact of this policy on farmers, adivasi farmers, women farmers, agricultural labour, migrant labour, rural workers, unemployment, rising cost of living and declining purchasing power in Mahapanchayat on Monday,” SKM leaders said.

pending orders

They registered their demands and the Centre’s unfulfilled obligations: an act to guarantee the MSP for all crops, using the formula of the Swaminathan Commission; Dismissal of the MSP committee formed by the Center and formation of a new committee with appropriate representation of farmer groups; waiver of all agricultural loans; dismissal of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni for his alleged involvement in a plot to kill four protesting farmers and a journalist in the Lakhimpur Khari incident; compensation and jobs for Lakhimpur Kheri victims; Comprehensive crop insurance and pension of INR 5,000 per month for all farmers and agricultural workers; And the promised withdrawal of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill.

“Fake cases registered against farmers in BJP-ruled states, other states and union territories, during the plantation movement, should be withdrawn immediately. The SKM leaders demanded allotment of land for the construction of a memorial to the martyred farmers of Singu Morcha.