Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Subhashini Ali on Tuesday termed the ongoing agitation by farmers in Phase I area of the Indira Gandhi Canal Project over irrigation water as a struggle for "the right to live". While severe adverse situations were driving farmers elsewhere in the country to suicide, in Rajasthan they were on the warpath braving bullets and oppression, she said addressing a kisan rally in Rawatsar town of Hanumangarh.

The smaller and marginal farmers all over the country were fighting for their survival, Ms. Ali said addressing a the rally at the grain mandi area of the town. The farmers, who included hundreds of women, had marched earlier from Chaiya village where they were on a "padav" (siege) to reach the rally site despite unseasonal showers in the morning. Prohibitory orders promulgated in the area earlier were lifted following farmers' announcement to hold the public meeting defying the ban.

CPI (M) State secretary Vasudev, party MLA Amra Ram, leaders of All-India Democratic Women's Association Durga Swami and Pushpa Sharma, Congress leaders Birbal Ram, Yadram and leaders of the Kisan Mazdoor Vyapari Sangarsh Samiti addressed the rally. Ms. Ali said the Government policies were affecting the livelihood of farmers all over India.