Andhra Pradesh

Farmer leaders call for ‘second freedom struggle’ against Centre

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait addressing the ‘Mahapanchayat’ in Ongole on Monday.   | Photo Credit: KOMMURI SRINIVAS

Samyukt Kisan Morcha leaders on Monday gave a clarion call to the people to launch a sustained struggle against the Centre to end the ‘misrule’ of the Narendra Modi government, taking inspiration from the Indian freedom movement.

Speaking at a farmers’ ‘Mahapanchayat’ presided over by All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee State convener Vadde Sobhanadreeswara Rao at the sprawling ABM College here, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait vowed to lead a protracted struggle till “the three black farm laws are either repealed or the Bharatiya Janata Party bows out of office”.

Ladenge, jeetenge (we will fight, we will win), Mr. Tikait thundered, drawing a resounding applause from a huge crowd of farmers who had converged from across South Coastal Andhra Pradesh for the rally. Mr. Tikait said he was glad to be in Ongole, which was known for being the heartland of the famous Ongole bull and also the base for many farmer struggles.

“The controversial farm laws will pave the way for a vice-like grip of corporate firms on the farm sector, leading to all-round price rise affecting the common people the most. The struggle by farmers has now got the support of more sections of people including industrial workers who were upset over the PSU privatisation spree of the BJP-led Government,” Mr. Tikait said, opining that the “stubbornness” of the Modi government in persisting with the three “draconian” pieces of legislation would prove to be the saffron party’s political waterloo.

All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) national president Ashok Dhawale said statutory backing to the Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime was the need of the hour to provide succour to farmers who were taking the extreme step of ending their lives due to unremunerative returns for their produce.

The ‘Kerala model’ of remunerative price for paddy and other crops including fruits and vegetables should be implemented across the country to end the serious agrarian crisis, he opined. The NDA government was alienating farmers, farm workers and industrial workers who were major producers of national wealth, in order to please the corporate sector, Mr. Dhawale said and called for a sustained campaign to end the “misrule” of the NDA government at the Centre.

AIKS Punjab unit president Balkaran Singh Brar said the farmers’ protest which started in the States surrounding Delhi had spread to different parts of the country now, drawing support from a larger section of people.

“We are prepared for a do-or-die battle,” he said, mentioning how farmers including women from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh were staying put on the borders of Delhi for over five months now.

All Indian Kisan Mazdoor Sangh national general secretary Ashok Ghayale recalled the bomb attack by Bhagat Singh on the Central Assembly Hall in Delhi to oppose the British Raj. He wanted the farmers to take inspiration from the revolutionary leader to “throw out the BJP-led Government as it implemented an agenda of imperialism”.

Mr. Tikait released a Telugu version of ‘Mandi, Market and Modi’ written by journalist Hartosh Singh Bal and published by the AIKMS. Artistes performed songs and dances opposing the farm bills at the rally.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 2:58:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/farmer-leaders-call-for-second-freedom-struggle-against-centre/article34362250.ece

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