Farmers demand higher crop prices, loan waivers
Social activists say situation of farmers has deteriorated to a level like never before
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.
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.