Farmers to step up stir, meet NDA allies

Farmers protesting against anti farm laws at GT Karnal Road Delhi Haryana Singhu Border on Sunday, December 20, 2020.   | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

The leaders of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), a joint front of farmer unions, on Sunday announced a further intensification of their agitation demanding repeal of three agricultural marketing laws, including relay hunger strikes at protest sites and reaching out to constituents of the ruling-National Democratic Alliance.

Also read: Farmers want better APMCs, not ‘mukti’ from them, says AIKMS

At a press conference at Singhu, a protest site at the Delhi-Haryana border, SKM leaders said they would approach the NDA leaders on December 26 and 27, appealing to them to compel the BJP to withdraw the three legislations.

“We will go to the residences of NDA leaders over the weekend and seek their support for the agitation. And their replies would be shared with the people,” said Bharatiya Kisan Union president Rakesh Tikait. The SKM leaders added that the NDA constituents would also be opposed if they did not support the farmers.

Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav, said the farmer leaders at the protest sites around Delhi would hold relay hunger strikes from Monday. “Eleven leaders would observe fast for 24 hours every day as part of the relay hunger strike. We appeal to those holding sit-ins in other parts of the country as well to observe hunger strike,” said Mr. Yadav. He also accused the Haryana government of preventing farmers from reaching the protest site on Haryana-Rajashan border.

Also read: Farmers' protest | Government-farmers committee will be fruitful only after repeal of agriculture laws, say farmer groups on Supreme Court proposal

The SKM appealed to people to across the country to give up one meal on December 23, Kisan Divas, as a mark of gratitude towards farmers. The leaders asked people to clang utensils on December 27 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Mann Ki Baat” radio address as a mark of protest. They also gave a call for demonstrations and rallies by Indians abroad on December 26-27 seeking support for their agitation.

In reply to a question, Krantikari Kisan Union president Darshan Pal said if the government targeted people for sending money to their family members and friends from abroad in support of the agitation under Foreign Contribution (regulation) Act then it was “condemnable”. He also condemned the raids on the arthiyas (commission agents) and farmers, and said people in Punjab would hold demonstrations outside the Income Tax offices against this.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minster Narendra Modi prayed at the historic Rakab Ganj Sahib gurdwara, where the body of Guru Teg Bahadur was cremated. “I felt extremely blessed. I, like millions around the world, am deeply inspired by the kindnesses of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji,” said a tweet from his official handle.

Meanwhile, the All-India Kisan Sangarsh Co-ordination Committee (AIKSCC) said martyrdom program for 40 “martyrs” who had laid down their lives during the present struggle in Delhi was observed in 22 States across the country in which nearly 90,000 programs were held, drawing participation of more than 50 lakh people. It claimed that large protests had started in Haryana and West U.P. and more people were moving to the border protest sites. Several batches of protestors from distant States also are planning to join the farmers in Delhi. Farmers from Punjab and Haryana are sitting patiently and peacefully while strength is rising in both Shahjahpur and Ghazipur, the AIKSCC said.

It also wrote to the joint Platform of Central Trade Unions (CTUs) and independent National Federations and Associations seeking action oriented solidarity with the ongoing farmers struggle.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 12:47:16 AM |

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