India

Samyukt Kisan Morcha relaunches agitation, says Centre didn’t fulfil its promises

Farmers shouting slogans as they block railway tracks during a protest against the Centre in Amritsar on July 31, 2022.

Farmers shouting slogans as they block railway tracks during a protest against the Centre in Amritsar on July 31, 2022. | Photo Credit: AFP

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) relaunched its agitations on Sunday, by holding rail and road blockades at various parts of the country, on the day of martyrdom of freedom fighter Sardar Udham Singh. The farmers alleged that the Centre betrayed them by not implementing the promises it had made last year, while withdrawing the protests. The principal Opposition party Congress has pledged support to the protests and said it will raise the SKM’s concerns in Parliament.

A meeting of the SKM on July 3 had given a call for “Nationwide Chakka Jam” on July 31. The SKM said the Centre has not fulfilled any of the promises made to them in its letter dated December 9, 2021, on the basis of which the farm movement was suspended. “The Government is still not ready to discuss the legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP). The Cabinet is reported to have approved the Electricity Amendment Bill for placing in Parliament. Nor have the false cases registered against the farmers been withdrawn. Mr. Ajay Mishra Teni remains in the Union Council of Ministers even today,” the SKM said in a release here, on Sunday.

Widespread protest demonstrations

Widespread protest demonstrations and road and rail blockades were held in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Tripura, among other states. “Tens of thousands of farmers came together to protest against the betrayal by the Union Government,” the SKM said, while reiterating its six demands for legal guarantee of MSP for all produce based on C2+50% formula, withdrawal of draft Electricity Amendment Bill, removal of the penal provisions on farmers in the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act, withdrawal of false cases against the farmers over the course of the movement, dismissal and arrest of Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni, and compensation and rehabilitation to the families of the martyrs of the farm movement and allocation of land to build a memorial in their memory at Singhu.

“Jai-Jawan Jai-Kisan”

SKM has also decided to organise “Jai-Jawan Jai-Kisan” conventions across the country from August 7 to August 14 to expose the Agnipath scheme. It will also organise a 75-hour permanent protest at Lakhimpur Kheri from August 18 to 20, to demand the dismissal and arrest of Mr. Teni. They also warned the Centre that unless the promised demands are fulfilled, the farm movement will be intensified in the coming months.

The Congress, meanwhile, said it will fight in Parliament and outside to ensure the guarantee of minimum support price for farmers. After a meeting of the office-bearers of the All India Kisan Congress, its new president Sukhpal Singh Khaira said he will launch a nationwide tour to interact with farmers. “The Centre cheated the farmers and labourers of the country with regard to three farm laws. Till date, neither the MSP has been guaranteed nor has the aggrieved farmers been given assistance. Even the committee constituted by the Centre for MSP includes people who have been in favour of the three farm laws, so the SKM has rejected this committee outright,” he said.

“The Government is still not ready to discuss the legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP)” Samyukt Kisan Morcha 


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Printable version | Aug 1, 2022 1:22:37 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/samyukt-kisan-morcha-intensifies-protests-congress-pledges-support/article65707714.ece