Farmers de­mand higher crop prices, loan waivers

So­cial ac­tivists say sit­u­a­tion of farmers has de­te­ri­o­rated to a level like never be­fore

The Gulf Today - - ASIA -

NEW DELHI: Thou­sands of farmers from across the na­tion are headed to the Ramlila ground here to press their de­mands for higher crop prices and farm loan waivers, among oth­ers.

The farmers are march­ing in from Niza­mud­din, Sabzi Mandi Sta­tion, Anand Vi­har Ter­mi­nal and Ma­jnu Ka Tila.

While Yogendra Ya­dav of Swaraj In­dia is lead­ing a ‘Chalo Dilli’ rally from Bi­jwasan to Ramlila Maidan, that has been joined by farmers from Odisha, Haryana, Ra­jasthan.

Two spe­cial trains car­ry­ing farmers, one from Ma­ha­rash­tra’s Mi­raj and other from Ben­galuru, were ex­pected to reach Delhi later in the day.

The farmers will con­gre­gate at the Ramlila ground by 8pm.

So­cial ac­tivists, in­clud­ing Medha Patkar and noted jour­nal­ist P. Sainath, have ex­tended their sup­port to the rally and said the sit­u­a­tion of farmers in the coun­try has de­te­ri­o­rated to a level like never be­fore.

Many women farmers and stu­dents from Delhi Univer­sity are also part of the rally to push the Cen­tre to pro­vide relief to the dis­tressed farmers.

On Fri­day, un­der the um­brella body All In­dia Kisan Sang­harsh Co­or­di­na­tion Com­mit­tee (AIKSCC) they will march from Ramlila Maidan to the Par­lia­ment Street against the “an­ti­farmer” poli­cies of the Bjp-gov­ern­ment and court ar­rest.

Swab­hi­mani Shetkari Sang­hatana leader and Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Raju Shetti, who is also a part of the AIKSCC, in­tro­duced two Pri­vate Mem­ber’s Bills in the Lok Sabha in 2017, seek­ing a loan waiver and a guar­an­teed re­mu­ner­a­tive prices for agri­cul­tural com­modi­ties based on the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Swami­nathan Com­mis­sion.

The AIKSCC, which rep­re­sents over 200 farm out­its, has de­manded the Bills be dis­cussed and passed in Par­lia­ment.

It said 21 po­lit­i­cal par­ties have ex­tended their sup­port to the Bills and their rep­re­sen­ta­tives may visit the protest march on Fri­day.

Sev­eral prom­i­nent writ­ers, intellectuals and artists, in­clud­ing Nayan­tara Sah­gal, K. Satchi­danan­dan, Ganesh Devy and Damodar Mauzo, have ex­pressed sol­i­dar­ity with the farmers.

“I am one with the farmers in all their de­mands. The In­dian state has been un­grate­ful to the point of cru­elty to the farmers who feed the peo­ple of our coun­try. This can­not go on. The In­dian peas­ant’s plight deines the na­tion’s con­di­tion and the state needs to do ev­ery­thing to solve their prob­lems.

Agence France-presse

Farmers take part in a march or­gan­ised by the All In­dia Kisan Sabha or­gan­i­sa­tion and Com­mu­nist Party of In­dia (Marx­ist) along with other left­ist groups in New Delhi on Thurs­day.

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