Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday raised a war cry for farmers’ rights across the country in what is being viewed as the Aam Aadmi Party’s blueprint for national expansion.
Addressing an estimated 1,000 attendees at his Sahyog Rally comprising primarily of the Capital’s farmers in West Delhi’s Mundka – his first official jan sabha (public meeting) since elevation to the office of Chief Minster – Mr. Kejriwal announced his Government’s decision to compensate them at the rate of Rs.50,000 per hectare of land rendered unusable due to the recent inclement weather.
Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh set the ball rolling by exhorting the audience to “make the AAP a national force” by joining its leaders for a march to Parliament against Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central Government’s land acquisition ordinance on April 22.
“I have been visiting villages in Delhi throughout the day; I’ve seen the severe damage to their crops with my own eyes. Just like the compensation that the Government is providing jawans (uniformed officials) of this city, it will now provide help to the kisan (farmer) since both of them constitute the very foundation of this country,” Mr. Kejriwal said as he took the stage over from Mr. Singh.
Funds required for the compensation, Mr. Kejriwal said, were available this time “like they had always been”. The difference, he added, lay in the fact that his Government had the “intent that successive Delhi Governments lacked.” More schemes for the betterment of rural Delhi, Mr. Kejriwal said, were in the offing.
Working out to Rs.20,000 per acre, the Chief Minister said the Delhi Government’s compensation package was the highest to be offered to weather-afflicted farmers across the country on the heels of urging them to stand up for their rights and “demand more compensation” from their respective State Governments.
“I’ve been told that the compensation we are offering is the highest in the country; hope it inspires my farmer brothers in Haryana and Punjab, in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and across the country to raise their voices and demand the compensation they deserve,” said Mr. Kejriwal responding to cries of “Kejriwal tum sangharsh karo hum tumhare saath hain”.