Farmers' protest to continue for MSP, other issues: Tikait

Farmers' protest to continue for MSP, other issues: Tikait
BKU leader Rakesh Tikait. Source: IANS

Hyderabad, Nov 25 (IANS) Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait made it clear on Thursday that the protest by farmers will continue for Minimum Support Price (MSP) law and to oppose various legislations which are in pipeline and are harmful to their interests

He said though the Central government has announced repeal of three farm laws, the farmers' problems will not come to an end with this as the government is trying to bring in various anti-farmer laws.

Tikait was addressing 'Maha Dharna' organised by All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC)-Telangana unit in Hyderabad to mark one year of the countrywide agitation by the famers against the three agri laws.

Stating that farmers' protest at Delhi's Ghazipur border will continue, he claimed their protest was not merely for repeal of the three agri laws but it was also to demand MSP guarantee law and resolve other issues faced by farmers.

He alleged that the Narendra Modi government was run by companies and several legislations were in pipeline to serve their interests. He cited the proposed amendments to laws relating to electricity and seeds.

"They are looking to do away with weekly agriculture markets in the country. There will also be police stations for seeds where farmers will be questioned about the seeds sown by them in their fields. Several laws are in pipeline because nobody in Parliament speaks on these issues," he said.

The farmers' leader said Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the union of nearly 40 farmers' group spearheading the agitation, will write to all political parties to raise the real issues like repeal of three agri laws, passing of MSP guarantee Bill and price rise during the ensuing Parliament session. The parties will be urged to avoid debate on non-issues as they are taken up to divert public attention from the real problems faced by people.

Tikait also demanded setting up of a committee with representatives from SKM, government officials, and agriculture scientists to hold talks on all issues relating to farmers. He slammed the Central government for avoiding talks with farmers.

Later, the farmers' leader told reporters that SKM's strategy is to defeat the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. He said they would try to ensure that the BJP faces boycott in villages and claimed that this has already started in western part of Uttar Pradesh.

He said SKM would decide future course of action at its meeting on November 27. "We will organise a tractor march in Delhi on November 29 and another at the national capital's borders the next day," he said

On Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao's announcement of ex-gratia of Rs 3 lakh each to the kin of around 750 farmers, who died during the year-long protests, Tikait said the Centre should also provide ex-gratia to them and also withdraw all cases booked against farmers.

Stating that the fight was for farmers of the entire country, he said like Telangana the other states should also declare assistance to the families of the martyred farmers.

Tikait also advised the Telangana Chief Minister to help the farmers in the state. On the problem faced by paddy farmers in the state, he hoped that they will also be benefitted by the MSP guarantee Act.

Stating that SKM was formed for the country, he said the agitation has given new hope to the country. "This is not just the movement of farmers. This is movement of 14 crore unemployed people who were let down by the government by going back on the promise to create 2 crore jobs every year. This is amovement of tribals, landless farmers and every oppressed citizen of this country," he said.

Leaders of AIKSCC, CPI, CPI-M, Telangana State Rythu Sangham and other groups attended the 'Maha dharna'.