Farmers’ strike sees mixed response

By: | Published: June 5, 2018 5:03 AM

The strike, led by Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh, has seen the participation of more than 130 farmer organisations.

The 10-day nation-wide strike by farmers saw a mixed response on Monday, the fourth day of the agitation, in several states with some factions claiming that there had been no impact on vegetable and food supplies. (Reuters)

The 10-day nation-wide strike by farmers saw a mixed response on Monday, the fourth day of the agitation, in several states with some factions claiming that there had been no impact on vegetable and food supplies. Farmers have been demanding better minimum support price (MSP) for their produce, farm loan waiver, higher compensation for damaged crops and full implementation of the MS Swaminathan report.

In Maharashtra, barring the onion belt in Nashik district and Vashi in Navi Mumbai that saw low arrivals, traders claimed that supplies remained unaffected in most areas. The agitation by dairy farmers though is expected to become more aggressive on Tuesday, with farmers planning to gift milk and tur dal packs to tehsildars across the state. The strike began on June 1 as farmers from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh joined the protest.

The strike, led by Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh, has seen the participation of more than 130 farmer organisations. According to the Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh, the call for ‘gaon bandh (village shutdown)’ by the farmer outfits has been successful as milk and vegetable supplies have hit in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Western Uttar Pradesh. According to a statement issued by the Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh, vegetable, fruit and milk supplies have been hit to the tune of 50-70% in several states on the fourth day of the strike. In Madhya Pradesh, prices rose by nearly 100-120% in Mandsaur, Bhopal, Harda, Haunshangabad.

In Mandsaur, milk was distributed free of cost to hospitals, the Mahasangh said. The impact on supplies was similar in Haryana, and markets in Karnal, Kuruskshetra, Yamuna Nagar, Sirsa, and Ambala remained shut. According to Abhimanyu Kohar, national spokesperson, Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh, FIRs were lodged against 50 farmers. Supplies were hit in Punjab, Maharashtra and Rajasthan to the tune of 50-60%.

Meanwhile, Congress president Rahul Gandhi is expected to address a rally in Mandsaur on Wednesday.
BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha, Ex-Union finance minister Yashwant Sinha, and ex-VHP leader Praveen Togadia are likely to join the stir in Mandsaur, the epicentre of last year’s agitation in which six people were killed in police firing, on June 8.

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