Ayodhya Nahin, Karz Maafi: Chant Farmers

Ayodhya nahi, karz maafi chahiye”. “Ab haq ke bina bhi kya jeena, yeh jeene ke samaan nahi (life has no meaning without rights),” sang one of the performers at the ‘Kisan Night’ organised to lift the spirits of the farmers on Thursday. Leaders of opposition parties as well as activists showed solidarity with the community. Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday called for a farm loan waiver, asserting that peasants are asking for what is due to them and not a “free gift”. The Congress supremo joined opposition leaders including AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, veteran politicians Sharad Yadav and Sitaram Yechury at Jantar Mantar, where the thousands of farmers gathered on Friday to press for their demands, including debt relief and remunerative prices for their produce. “The country has been divided between Ambani and Adani. But your farm loan waiver does not happen, you don’t get the right prices and hollow speeches are made,” Rahul said. He trained his guns at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that if Rs 30,000 crore can be given to Anil Ambani, an apparent reference to the Rafale fighter jet deal, why can’t loans of farmers be waived off? Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal alleged that PM Modi has “stabbed farmers in the back” by not fulfilling the promises made to them and warned him that they would “wreak havoc” in the 2019 general elections if those promises are not kept. In his address at the venue, Kejriwal claimed that the Centre had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying it would not implement the MS Swaminathan Commission report. “The government had made a number of promises to farmers in the last election (2014), but it has not fulfilled those promises. By not implementing the Swaminathan Commission report, Modiji has stabbed the farmers in the back (‘kisano ke peeth mey chhura bhonka hai‘),” he alleged. He said the Union government should implement the report in five months. “The affidavit filed in the court should be withdrawn and the report should be implemented, otherwise, farmers would wreak havoc in 2019 elections (‘kisan agle election mey qayamat dhah denge‘),” he said. “The Fasal Beema Yojna is a fraud and is cheating farmers. The insurance companies withdraw money from farmers without their permission and thousands of crores have been withdrawn in this manner. When farmers lose their produce, these companies impose the condition that compensation would be given only if 70 per cent of the produce has been destroyed,” the AAP chief claimed. (PTI)]]>

#FarmersMarch: Activists haul up Centre

Farmers rise! @newssting1 cartoon #FarmersMarch pic.twitter.com/LGAoPiaDe8

— Satish Acharya (@satishacharya) November 30, 2018 They were stopped near Parliament Street police station, after which they assembled there. Over 3,500 police personnel have been deployed on the route of the march. According to a senior police officer, special arrangements have been made in Central and New Delhi police districts. Farmers have come to the national capital from different parts of the country, including Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. Banded under the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, which claims to be an umbrella body of 207 organisations of farmers and agricultural workers, many farmers arrived in the city on trains, buses and other modes of transport. CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, CPI leader S Sudhakar Reddy, AAP MP Sanjay Singh and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah also joined the protesting farmers in the heart of Delhi. Reddy, the national secretary of the CPI, alleged that the BJP dispensation led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is most the “anti-farmer government”. “Modi government tried to pass the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill. But, as the opposition parties opposed it, the bill was not passed in the Rajya Sabha. If the BJP wins again then it will take steps to pass the controversial bill,” Reddy said. He alleged that the BJP government at the Centre has no wish to implement the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendation All farmers bodies across the country have been demanding implementation of the panel’s report. Yechury said, “This is the same police station (Parliament Street police station) where Bhagat Singh was taken into custody for throwing a bomb (in the Legislative Assembly).” “We have the power of votes, if the government does not change its stand, it will be overthrown,” he said, adding, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari the country is united and “we will remove Modi (in the next elections)”. Anjaan added that continuous neglect of farmers will “ensure Modi’s and the BJP’s downfall in 2019”. Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav said the protest – Kisan Mukti March 2018 – to Delhi is a historic development as not only farmers across the nation have been assembled under one platform but also it has enjoyed supports from all section of society. TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi said, “Farmers of India stands before us. This is India’s movement. Mamataji (Banerjee) has sent you love. If you have a strong resolve you can achieve everything. There are talks about loan waiver but should the farmer even have to take loans.” He also said this gathering was the “real parliament” and called for a special session of Parliament. NCP chief Sharad Pawar said the condition of farmers in the country needs to be changed but the government is “not sympathetic” towards their plight. (PTI)]]>

Rajasthan polls: A Third Front Rises

takht badal do, taj badal do, beimanon ka raj badal do‘ (change the throne, change the crown, change the rule of the corrupt),” he said with a smile on his face. Ram is pitted against Congress’ Virendra Singh and the BJP’s Harish Chandra Kumawat. Rajasthan will be voting for its 200-member assembly on December 7 and counting will take place on December 11. PTI]]>

Maharashtra agrees to most farmers' demands

The gruelling 200-km, six-day long ‘Long March’ by over 35,000 farmers ended on a positive note, with the Maharashtra government conceding most demands on Monday evening.

The decision was announced at a rally addressed by state ministers along with farmers’ leaders at Azad Maidan where the peasants arrived at dawn on Monday, following which the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) leaders announced that the agitation was withdrawn. “We held very cordial discussions and have conceded most of the demands of the tribals, labourers and farmers who took part in the march,” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced here. According to a Kisan Sabha leader, the main demands pertained to complete implementation of the loan waiver scheme announced last year, implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006, and compensation for victims of damage to cotton crops following bollworm infestation and the unseasonal rains and hailstorm. On implementing the Forest Rights Act, Fadnavis said that all pending claims/appeals shall be cleared in six months. About the farm loans waiver, the government said it had already distributed funds to banks for 46.52 lakh farmers and 35.51 lakh farmers had been disbursed their loan waiver amounts. On the implementation of the M.S. Swaminathan Commission report, he said the government would pursue it with the centre. Additionally, farmers who were not entitled to the loan waiver scheme of 2008 shall be brought under the ambit of the current Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojana, and farmers from 2001 onwards would now get the benefits. Similar satisfactory outcome was reported for other demands including water projects, the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana, Indira Gandhi Old Age Pension Scheme, fixing of milk rates and pending issues with ration cards to enable farmers and poor get ration at fair price shops. Kisan Sabha leaders including Ajit Nawale expressed satisfaction over the outcome. Earlier, top political leaders including NCP President Sharad Pawar, Congress leader Ashok Chavan, Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and social crusader Anna Hazare attacked the government for ignoring the case of the farmers. “Any party which ignores the cause of farmers will not survive,” thundered Yechury. “Today, if the farmers demands are not conceded, they will shake up the state and the Centre, and install a government of their choice,” he said. The 35,000-plus farmers, including men, women and youths, who halted under the scorching sun at the historic Azad Maidan since dawn will prepare to return to their homes later tonight. Marching under the AIKS banner, the farmers wing of the CPI-M, many sported red caps and carried red party flags or banners, their lunch wrapped in newspapers. They walked almost 200 km for nearly 150 hours since March 6 and reached Mumbai late on Sunday night. Some had swollen eyes and blistered feet and wore torn clothes. All major political parties supported the agitation, with Congress President Rahul Gandhi terming it “an unprecedented show of strength” and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Fadnavis to shed their ego and concede the farmers’ legitimate demands. (IANS)]]>