Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: The Left parties too are now set to embark on a "rath yatra". A kisan rath, highlighting the problems faced by the farmers in Rajasthan, will roll out on February 5 from Gharsana, the hotbed of farmers' agitation for irrigation water in the Indira Gandhi Canal Phase I area in Sriganganagar.

The "rath", a truck fitted with a public address system and facilities for holding meetings in far-flung hamlets of the vast Rajasthan landscape, will traverse eight districts Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh, Bikaner, Churu, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Nagaur and Jaipur -- of the State to reach Jaipur on February 22. The rath is named after the late CPI (M) leader and Member of Parliament, Sheopath Singh Makkasar.

"A kisan rath of this kind had been the dream of Sheopath Singhji. He could not see it materialise. We are now driving it across the State to expose the repressive BJP Government in Rajasthan," said Amra Ram, CPI (M) MLA and State president of the All India Kisan Sabha. Sheopath Singh, former MP from Bikaner, passed away in March last year.

`Suicide no answer'

"It is symbolic of the Rajasthan farmer standing up to fight the odds. Suicide is no answer to the multifarious problems faced by Indian farmers and the rath yatra will carry this message far and wide," Amra Ram said.

The same truck body-builders who got ready the then BJP president L.K.Advani's vehicle for his cross-country rath yatra are the ones who built this, much humble farmers' rath as well.

The "Lok Tantrik Jan Morcha", an umbrella organisation of 30 outfits of people in Rajasthan, will receive the "rath" on its arrival here on February 22 and lead a protest march to the State Assembly.

The day would witness a dharna in front of the State's Resident Commissioner's Office at Bikaner House in Delhi to protest against "repression" of the agitating farmers of the Canal area.

"The farmers leaders have been in jail for the past three months and the Vasundhara Raje Government did not produce them before a magistrate," Mr. Amra Ram pointed out.