Nearly 26 farmers’ associations have called for a shutdown in 45,000 villages across Rajasthan on July 9 to press for their demands, even after the RSS-backed Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) called off its proposed stir. Farmers in these villages have decided to curtail supply of milk, vegetables and grains, and will wear black bands to show solidarity and fight for their demands. The farmers’ bodies have been demanding waiving agriculture loans, passage of a farmers’ security Act and implementation of the recommendations of the M S Swaminathan Commission.
“Farmers in Rajasthan are no different from farmers of other states,” the national president of Kisan Mahapanchayat, Rampal Jat, said here in a press conference. “Farmers’ demands have not been met. Holding talks with BKS representatives and assurances given to them were merely an eyewash and attempt to pacify farmers’ protest. “We have called for a shutdown in 45,000 villages in Rajasthan on July 9. Twenty-six associations representing farmers will support the protest,” Jat said. He has alleged that the BJP, which is in power at the Centre and in the state, have failed to fulfil the promises made to the farmers in its election manifestos. Farmers in Rajasthan are under huge debt as their produce is not being procured at the government-fixed minimum support price (MSP).
Several states including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab have waived farmers’ loans.