Farmers’ protests: From Madhya Pradesh to Maharashtra, farmers’ protest has come as a new challenge not just for the BJP-led governments in these two states but also Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre. The unrest, which has also acquired political colours because of the apparent involvement of Opposition leaders, could spread to other states if the farmers’ demands are not met soon, according to farmers’ organisations.
The unrest has turned ugly because of the death of five protesters during alleged open firing by police in Madhya Pradesh on June 6. While a Congress leader was caught on tape inciting farmers for violence in Madhya Pradesh, the state CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan was forced on Saturday to sit on a “peace” fast in Bhopal to bring an end to the stir. In Maharashtra, CM Devendra Fadnavis has waived-off loans of small and marginalised farmers but the latter’s organisations do not seem to be impressed and they have continued with their protests. With the onset of Monsoon, farmers protests do not augur well for the next crop season and the onus is on the government to address their issues.
Here is what farmers’ organisations are planning to do to fight for their interests:
- On Friday, farmers’ body Rashtriya Kisan Mahasabha (RKM) said that the unrest will spread in more states till the BJP-led government fulfills its poll promise of 50 per cent more profit on cost of production and announce farm loan waiver. RKM is comprised of around 50 farmers bodies, including RSS’ Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) and its break-away group Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh (RKMS).
- “Farmers protest was planned and did not occur all of a sudden. We started from Malwa region. The protest turned violent as Mandsaur farmers were upset when BKU withdrew the protest without consulting fellow farmers,” RKM national convenor and RKMS chief Shivkumar Sharma told reporters on Friday.
- During the sowing of kharif crops this year, Sharma said, “Farmers will wear black band on their arms as mark of protest and continue sowing operation”.
- In Gujarat, Congress has warned of state-wide protests if the government failed to address the demands of the farmers. “We will intensify the agitation if the Gujarat government failed to accept the demands of the farmers in the state,” Former president of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) Siddharth Patel was quoted as saying on Friday by PTI.
- In Haryana, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) protested against the Mandsaur incident on Friday. Its leaders said that soon various farmers’ organisations will be meeting in Delhi, in which leaders from many states will participate.
- In Uttar Pradesh, farmers’ organisations have warned of Mandsaur-like situation. According to PTI, a faction BKU has even threatened to cut off supply of milk and vegetables to cities from Sunday if their demand for a CBI probe and an FIR into the police firing in Mandsaur, that claimed five lives, were not met.
- Farmers in western Uttar Pradesh reportedly readying to to raise their own issues, ranging from unpaid dues to poor procurement infrastructure, which, they claimed, have not been adequately addressed by the Yogi Adityanath government despite numerous promises and repeated assurances.
- In Maharashtra, the state government has invited striking farmers for talks on Sunday (June 11).