Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal shared the stage at the farmers’ rally in Delhi on Friday, 30 November, with both warning the Modi government about the consequences of not addressing the country's agrarian crisis.
“If you (the Modi government) can give Rs 30,000 crore to Ambani for aircraft, you’ll have to waive farm loans too,” Gandhi said during his speech at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.
Other prominent Opposition leaders, including NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, CPI(M)'s Sitaram Yechury, LJD's Sharad Yadav and National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, were also at the protest.
On Friday, the protesters marched from Ramlila Maidan, where they had taken refuge after day-long demonstrations, to the Parliament Street in the national capital.
The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), in collaboration with over 200 other farmers’ outfits, has organised the protest to push for the demands of the farmers, including debt relief and remunerative prices for their produce.
- Cutting across political lines, leaders join the protest to extend their support to the farmers
- Hundreds of farmers reach Jantar Mantar on the Parliament Street on the second day of the Kisan Mukti March
- Farmers are demanding the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee report, increased MSPs and a special Parliament session to discuss two bills
What the Farmers Want
The demands that have been put up by the farmers are quite straight forward. According to a Scroll report, they are demanding the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee report, increased minimum support price (MSP).
The farmers also want a special Parliament session to discuss two Bills – Farmers’ Freedom from Indebtedness Bill, 2018, and Farmers’ Right to Guaranteed Remunerative Minimum Support Prices for Agricultural Commodities Bill, 2018.
Delhi Prepares to Host Farmers
Apart from the security arrangements made by the police, volunteers in Delhi will be at hand to provide the farmers with food, water and medical assistance.
Overnight camps are being set up at several locations, for the farmers to be able to rest.
Doctors will have also a base at Ramlila Maidan on Thursday to provide their services to farmers on both days.
The Routes to be Taken by Farmers
The farmers will walk to the Ramlila Maidan from five different locations in the National Capital. Following are the exact routes:
- Bijwasan to Ramlila Maidan - 9 am
- Hazrat Nizammuddin to Ramlila Maidan - 11am
- Sabzi Mandi station to Ramlila Maidan - 11 am
- ANVT terminus to Ramlila Maidan - 12 pm
- Majnu ka Tila to Ramlila Maidan - 12 pm
Farmers Rally Proceeds Towards Ramlila Maidan
The two-day protests by farmers began as the rally started walking towards the Ramlila Maidan from Delhi’s Bijwasan.
Farmers Not Getting Their Basic Rights: Yogendra Yadav
Swaraj India’s President Yogendra Yadav, who is accompanying the farmers in their march towards the Ramlila Maidan, told The Quint that the farmers are not getting their basic rights, even though the government has increased the MSP.
Yadav further demanded two things – first, there should be a law that ensures that farmers get an MSP on their crop. Second, the government should initiate the loan waivers, at least once for every farmer.
Yogendra Yadav Leads the Way for Farmers
Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav was seen leading the charge as the protest march continued after a short break at Delhi’s Mahipalpur. The protestors are marching towards the Ramlila Maidan.
"Farmers Don't Have Any Other Option Than Suicide"
One of the protestors from Mewari in Haryana, told The Quint that farmers are forced to beg since everything from fertilisers, to pesticides to diesel, everything is getting expensive.
Another lady told us that the loans are skyrocketing. She pays her tractor’s loan from what she makes from her crop. However, if the crop fails, she doesn’t get insurance or any sort of compensation for her crop. According to her, all the government schemes are a cover, to earn profit for the insurance companies.
Echoes for "Debt-Free, Suicide-Free Farmers" Grow Louder
Family members of farmers participating in the march carried photographs of their relatives who committed suicide as farmers trickled into Delhi.
Failed harvests have pushed farmers to the brink, forcing them to borrow money at high interest rates to buy seeds, fertilisers and food for their cattle. Placards seen at the march read, "Debt-free farmer – Suicide-free India".
Army Veterans Back 'Fatherly' Farmers at the March
A group of veterans also participated in the march at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan to show support to farmers.
Hawaldar Raghubir Singh from Mahendragarh district who served in Kumaon Regiment in Ranikhet has been protesting at Jantar Mantar for 1264 days now, demanding implementation of the One Rank One Pension promise made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.
“Today, we - jawan and kisan - have come together with farmers of the country. Tomorrow the farmers and the soldiers of the country will protest and ask PM Modi to fulfil his promise,” the retired personnel said.
“A soldier is always a farmer’s son, not a politician's son. It is a farmer’s son who goes on to become a soldier. Our country is dear to us more than our lives. We can put our life at stake for our country,” Raghubir Singh told The Quint.
“What is happening in this country is that these politicians make promises and ask for our votes. And then no one ever asks. Fulfil the promises made to us, whether made to a farmer or to a soldier,” a dejected army personnel Raghubir said.
Crowd Starts Swelling at Ramlila Maidan
Protest march of hundreds of farmers proceeded towards Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on Thursday, 29 November to demand redressal of issues related to agrarian distress.
The anguished farmers maintain that after nearly four years in the seat of power, PM Modi-led government has done zilch to fulfill promises made to them. They will stage a mass protest on Friday to send this message across to the government.
Widespread Scandal by Govt in Our Country: Yogendra Yadav
Terming the present Modi regime as the most anti-farmer govt ever, Yogendra Yadav said that "Kisan Mukti March" is for the 'Mukti' or liberation of farmers from the spectre of suicides, from various forms of exploitation propagated by the state and from organised loot and plunder.
“This is a scandal in this country. The government has declared MSP of Rs 6,975, an absolute bare minimum that the farmer deserves. Govtr’s own website confirms that a farmer Rs 4,200 rupees, that’s the price a farmer gets. No one talks about it. As for Bajra in Rajasthan, despite the elections, the farmer is getting Rs 650 less than the official price.”Yogendra Yadav, National President, Swaraj India
“Farmers are not alone in their struggle, the nation stands with them,” Swaraj India’s national president said.
Day 2 Begins – Visuals from Ramlila Maidan
Visuals from the Ramlila Maidan where the farmers spent the night. Today is the second day of protests, the farmers will march to the Parliament Street to press for the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee report, increased MSP and a Parliament session to discuss two Bills.
Delhi Traffic Police Issues Advisory Ahead of Demonstrations
The Delhi traffic police, on Friday, issued an advisory saying demonstrations will close the traffic movement on the Sansad Marg, and asked people to avoid the stretch.
Podcast | Why Are Thousands of Farmers Marching Towards Parliament?
Listen to our podcast on the Kisan March in Delhi to know why the farmers have taken to the streets of the National Capital.
'Senseless Utilisation of Resources Taking Place': Palagummi Sainath
Journalist Palagummi Sainath, while talking to The Quint expressed the hardships that the farmers of today are going through. He said that in the last 14 years, not one hour has been given to discuss the report on agrarian crisis, further demanding a comprehensive discussion in the Indian Parliament.
March Proceeds Towards Parliament
The farmers, after taking refuge at the Ramlila Maidan during the night, started walking towards the Parliament Street.
The Kisan Mukti March left from the Ramlila Maidan at 10am.
Farmers' March Disrupts Traffic
Traffic in central and Lutyens' Delhi went into a tizzy on Friday as thousands of farmers, who have been camping at the Ramlila ground since Thursday, began their march to Parliament amid heavy policy deployment, to press for their various demands including debt relief and remunerative prices for their produce.
Around 1,000 traffic police personnel have been deployed between Ramlila maidan and Parliament to ensure that commuters do not face inconvenience.
Due to this march, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Ferozshah Road, Janpath, Mandir Marg, Panchkuian Marg, Ashoka Road, Jai Singh Marg and inner and outer circles of Connaught Place will be effected. Our senior traffic officials, along with other traffic personnel, are managing traffic.Senior Traffic official
Also Read : In Pics: Stories From Delhi’s Kisan March Rally
Demonstrations Reach Jantar Mantar
The protests reached Jantar Mantar on Delhi’s Sansad Marg at around 12 noon on Friday.
Here, they will do a peaceful demonstration, if the police doesn’t interfere. One of the protestors told The Quint that they do not plan on meeting anyone from the government as the demands are quite clear.
The farmers are pressing for the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee report, increased MSP and a special Parliament Session to discuss two bills.
Gujarat Tribals Aren't Getting Land Under Forest Land Acquisition Rights
One protestor from Gujarat told The Quint that he is protesting the fact that the tribals have not got their land under the forest land acquisition rights.
He said that he has gone to the authorities but nothing bared fruit. He also said that when PM Modi was the chief minister, he said that he is willing to go to jail for the rights of the tribals.
Farmers Have Permission to Rally to Jantar Mantar: Delhi Police
Delhi Police DCP Madhur Verma told ANI that the Delhi police has given the farmers permission to rally from Ramlila Maidan to Jantar Mantar after talks with farmers’ leaders, further hoping that the farmers follow the conditions.
Rahul Gandhi, Kejriwal Likely to Join Kisan March in Delhi: Reports
According to the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal are also expected to join in on the Kisan March in the National Capital.
Leaders from other prominent political parties have joined in on the demonstrations in Delhi.
KC Tyagi from JD(U), Dinesh Trivedi from TMC and membes of the Communist Party of India (CPI), and Samajwadi Party are also expected to join in later in the day.
Need to Change Farming Situation: NCP President Sharad Pawar
President of the Nationalist Congress Party, Sharad Pawar joins the farmers’ protest.
He says that he is there to back the two bills on the agrarian crisis.
Loktantrik Janata Dal's Sharad Yadav Also Present
Loktantrik Janata Dal Chief Sharad Yadav joins other politicians in extending support to the farmers.
Other prominent leaders, including Farooq Abdullah and D Raja are present. Reports say Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is likely to address the gathering soon and Congresss President Rahul Gandhi will join the demonstration later in the day.
Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani and student activist Kanhaiya Kumar are also at Jantar Mantar.
Watch: Rahul Gandhi Joins Kisan Mukti Morcha at Jantar Mantar, Delhi
Congress President Rahul Gandhi joins the farmers’ protest at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, launching a scathing attack on the Modi government over the agrarian crisis.
Targeting the Centre for allegedly favouring industrialists, Gandhi says:
The farmers are not asking for a free gift, they’re asking for what is their due, the Congress president adds.
In the run-up to the 2019 general elections, Gandhi says that there are two major issues in the country – the farmers’ future and the availability of jobs for the youth.
With leaders from several political parties present at the protest, Gandhi says, “Although of different ideologies, all political parties are united for farmers.”
Watch: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal Addresses Farmers at Jantar Mantar
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal shares the stage with Congress President Rahul Gandhi and other political leaders at the farmers’ protest in Jantar Mantar on Friday, 30 November.
Addressing the farmers, Kejriwal says:
“PM Modi has stabbed farmers. The Swaminathan Committee report must be implemented, all outstanding farm loans should be waived and fair price should be provided for crops. Farmers are forced to come begging to the capital as they get low prices while selling crops. If the farmers get a fair price, they won’t come demanding a loan waiver.”
Telling the Modi government to go to Adani and Ambani for votes if they can’t look after the farmers, Kejriwal criticises the Fasal Bima Yojana.
The Delhi CM takes the opportunity to slam the Centre’s interference in Delhi and says: