Farmers in seven states have announced a 10-day strike, starting 1 June. The farmers, under the banner of the Rashtriya Kisan Maha Sangh, are protesting to demand loan waivers and implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee recommendations.
- Farmers have called a 10-day strike in Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala
- Daily supplies such as milk and vegetables are likely to be hit over the course of the strike
Protests Remain Peaceful, But Vegetable Prices Move North
As their agitation entered the third day on Sunday, 3 June, farmers in many states dumped their produce on roads as a mark of protest while vegetable prices rose in several urban areas.
The stir, however, remained peaceful even as political rivals targeted the BJP-ruled Centre over the stir. Madhya Pradesh remained largely calm on the third day of the 10-day agitation by farmers demanding remunerative prices for their produce and waiver of farm loans.
BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha, former union finance minister Yashwant Sinha, and ex-VHP leader Praveen Togadia are likely to join the stir in Mandsaur, the epicentre of last year's agitation in which six people were killed in police firing, on June 8.
Long-Lasting Solution to Farmers' Issues Soon: Javadekar
On a day Congress president Rahul Gandhi threw his weight behind the farmers protesting nationwide, Union minister and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar on Saturday, 2 June, said the agitation will stop once his government announces the support prices for crops.
“They will get to understand when the prices will be declared. The agitation will stop then,” said the Union Minister for Human Resource Development. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said Narendra Modi government's plan was to provide a “long-lasting” solution to the issue.
“I will not try to comment. I don't want to subscribe (to) motives now for farmers' agitation. People are seeing it and people are responding to it,” Javadekar told reporters at the Press Club in New Delhi when asked if he sensed any political agenda in the 10-day protests.
Rahul to Address Farmers in Mandsaur on 6 June
Congress president Rahul Gandhi will address a farmer's rally in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, on 6 June – the day seven farmers had died in a police firing last year.
Gandhi threw his weight behind the farmers' protest to observe the anniversary of the Mandsaur firing.
In a statement, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Modi government's uncaring, unfeeling, insensitive, apathetic and thick-skinned attitude to the issues raised by 62 percent of India's population – farmers – has precipitated into a nationwide protest by our ‘Annadata.’”
The protest by farmers is a direct affirmation of the ‘Kisan Virodhi’ policies of Narendra Modi. While Mandsaur shooting is the symbol, farmers across India are protesting against widespread rural indebtedness, non-remunerative prices and complete apathy of the Modi government.Randeep Singh Surjewala
He also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Madhya Pradesh government of trying to suppress the protests by using illegal means in sheer desperation.
“It (state government) is panic stricken, as it even forced the farmers to sign ‘peace bonds' before the protest. Now the MP police has especially bought 17,000 new battens to take care of the protest,” he said in the statement.
“Farmers have announced that they will not sell their produce in Mandis in cities. They are demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report to avail cost+50 percent MSP as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They are also demanding a complete loan waiver,” he added.
(With inputs from IANS)
Farmers Continue Protest, Amarinder Flays Centre
Farmers continued their protests against the policies of the Central government towards them and dumped agriculture produce and milk on the roads at several places in Punjab and Haryana on Saturday, 2 June. They did not allow other farmers to carry vegetables and milk towards urban areas.
The farmers, under the banner of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), started a 10-day protest on Friday, 1 June, in seven states, imposing a blockade on movement of agriculture produce and milk from rural areas to urban centres. The farmers' organisations are demanding immediate implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report on farming, giving minimum support price to farmers for their produce, waiving loans and helping them make agriculture cost effective.
BKU president Balbir Singh Rajewal said farmers were forced to start the protest as the Central government was not helping the farming community at all.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh described the ongoing protest by farmers as a sign of their desperation in the face of the wrongs being perpetrated on them by the Central government.
Speaking to the media at the Haryana Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh after the swearing-in of the new Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Amarinder Singh said the farming community in the country was in the grip of a serious crisis due to the indifferent attitude of the BJP-led Central government.
The government has failed to provide any succour to the beleaguered farmers, who are unable to make both ends meet due to its antagonistic policies. Despite repeated pleas by Punjab and other state governments, the Centre has failed to come to the rescue of the farming community.Amarinder Singh
According to The New Indian Express, within 71 days of the newly-formed Congress government’s reign in Punjab, nearly 45 farmers have committed suicide and the trend seems to continue.
“Farmers are committing suicide due to their mounting debt burdens as agriculture is no longer financially viable for them in view of the inadequate MSP. The in toto implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report is the only long-term solution to the agrarian crisis in the country,” he added.
(With inputs from IANS)