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Will Resume Agitation if Centre Continues To Renege on Promises: SKM

Tens of thousands of farmers across the nation observed Monday as the "Day of Betrayal".

Published
India
4 min read
Will Resume Agitation if Centre Continues To Renege on Promises: SKM
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Farmers will be left with no choice but to resume their agitation if the Centre continues to renege on the promises made to them in December 2021, Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmers organisations said on Monday, 31 January.

Upon SKM's call, tens of thousands of farmers across the nation observed Monday as the "Day of Betrayal". Protests were held in hundreds of districts across India, and memoranda were submitted in the name of the President of India through the District Collectors, SDMs, and ADMs.

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'None of the Promises Made By the Govt Have Been Fulfilled'

"The Government of India’s reneging of the promises made to the farmers of the historic Kisan Andolan (farmer's protest) of 2020-21 was marked as "betrayal day" with demonstrations, marches, and effigy burning in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tripura among other states," the Morcha said in a statement.

Of the written assurances made by the Centre in the letter to Samyukta Kisan Morcha dated 9 December 2021, none of the promise have been fulfilled. "The Morcha warns the BJP government against challenging the farmers patience, and declares that if the promises are not fulfilled at the earliest, the farmers would be left with no option but to resume the agitation," the SKM said.

It has also submitted a memorandum to the President of India Ram Nath Kovind.

As the head of the State, it is the President’s constitutional obligation to protect the interests of the Annadata farmers, the largest section of the country, and warn the government against committing this fraud on the farmers. The country has become self-sufficient in food grains because of the toil of the farmers, the memorandum reminds, the memoranda submitted by the Morcha to the President states.

“Due to the tireless efforts of the farmers, despite the lockdown and the economic slowdown, the agricultural production of the country has increased continuously. Playing tricks with farmers can be disastrous for the whole country,” says the memorandum from farmers.

Rakesh Tikait Asks Farmers to be Prepared for a 'Long Struggle'

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Monday asked farmers to be prepared for a "long struggle as the Centre had betrayed the farmers over issues related to the community," reported news agency PTI.

The Centre must explain why no compensation was paid to martyrs of farmers protest and why no committee has been formed to look into the issue of MSP (Minimum Support Price) for crops, Tikait said.

"By betraying farmers of the country, the government has rubbed salt into their wounds. With this betrayal, it is clear that farmers of the country should be ready for a long struggle," he tweeted in Hindi.

"Cases filed during the farmers protests have not been withdrawn, no compensation has been given to the families of martyred farmers, no committee formed on MSP, no discussion on the electricity bill, notices from central departments, no resolution of cases. This is a betrayal on the farmers. The Government of India should respond to this," he wrote in another tweet.

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'Will Continue Mission Uttar Pradesh to Defeat the BJP'

The SKM, meanwhile, declared that it will continue “Mission Uttar Pradesh” and campaign across the state "to punish and defeat the BJP". The new phase of the mission would be announced with at a press conference on 3 February.

SKM said it has taken cognisance of the central trade unions's notice that sought for changing the day of nationwide strike from 23-24 February to 28 -29 March, in view of the upcoming Assembly polls.

"SKM fully endorses and supports the call from the trade unions and stands in solidarity with the workers and labourers across India, and will conduct a rural strike on 28th and 29th March."
Samyukta Kisan Morcha

The Centre, the Morcha said, continues its false narratives related to the current MSP (announcement) regime, and the cost concept being used for announcing such MSPs with the Economic Survey report 2021-22.

"The cost concept being used continues to be A2+Family Labour, ignoring C2 cost of production, denying farmers their true entitlement. It is also a false claim that crop diversification has happened with the empty promises of meagre MSPs being declared. However, farmers do know that such a diversification is indeed possible if MSP is legally guaranteed as an entitlement for all crops including oilseeds, millets and pulses. That is one of the key reasons that SKM also demands a legally guaranteed MSP," the SKM statement added.

Background

Farmers held an year-long protest at Delhi's borders from November 2020 demanding the repeal of the Centre's three contentious farm laws.

Their key demands were to repeal farm laws, withdraw cases filed against the farmers during the protest, a legal guarantee on MSP and compensation for farmers who had died during the course of the protest.

In November last year, the Centre announced the repeal of the farm laws and subsequently agreed to fulfil all the demands of the farmers. Following this, on 9 December, last year, the farm protest was called off after the SKM accepted the Centre's revised proposal.

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