Will Launch Hunger Strike If Farmers’ Issues Not Resolved: Hazare
Meanwhile, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said he didn’t think Anna Hazare would join the stir.
Activist Anna Hazare has consistently expressed solidarity with the farmers agitating against the farm laws, and on Monday, 14 December, he wrote a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar saying he will start a hunger strike once again if demands for implementation of the Minimum Support Price and recommendations of the MS Swaminathan Commission like an autonomous Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices are not met.
In his letter to Tomar, Hazare reminded the government of the promises made by Radha Mohan Singh in February 2019, reported The Indian Express. “This (promise) has not been fulfilled. I have started thinking about relaunching the hunger strike. I will inform you about date and place of the agitation,” wrote Hazare.
On 29 January 2019, the anti-graft activist had done a hunger strike over the appointment of Lokpal and to improve farmers’ income. He called off his fast on 5 February after a written assurance by former Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh, which was brought to him by former CM of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis that a high level committee would be formed to look into the issues and recommendations of the SM Swaminathan Commission, and would compile a report by October 2019.
Hazare had observed a fast on 8 December 2020 in support of the ‘Bharat Bandh’ that was called by farmer unions to repeal the agriculture laws passed in September, reported Hindustan Times.
Don’t Think Hazare Will Join the Protest: Gadkari
In response to Hazare’s demands, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday, 14 December, that he doesn’t think the social activist will join the farmers’ agitation. “I don’t think Anna Hazare ji will join. We have not done anything against the farmers. It is the right of farmers to sell their produce in mandi, to traders or anywhere else,” Gadkari told news agency ANI.
Gadkari told ANI that no dialogue would lead to miscommunication, and dialogue can resolve the issues and give farmers justice. He said the government is only working in the interest of the farmers. “If there is no dialogue, it can lead to miscommunication, to controversy and sparring. If there is a dialogue then issues will be resolved, the whole thing will end, farmers will get justice, they will get relief. We are working in the interest of farmers,” Gadkari added.
(With inputs from Indian Express, Hindustan Times and ANI)
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