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Farmers put a United front in their Protest calling for a Pan-India Bandh

Jun 01, 2018

Farmers put a United front in their Protest calling for a Pan-India Bandh
Farmers put a United front in their Protest calling for a Pan-India Bandh | Credit: Indian Express

The farmers in Madhya Pradesh have begun voicing for a pan-India bandh on Sunday, June 10th in a move that has caught the Centre and State governments unaware. Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh’s President, Shiv Kumar Sharma, said: “We have decided to observe a nationwide bandh – Bharat Bandh on June 10 till 2 pm.”

He added: “We would like to request all the businessmen in cities to close their shops till 2 pm and pay tribute to farmers who have toiled endlessly in their struggles.”

Many Kisan morchas have already launched ‘Gaon Bandh’ - village blockade agitation since last Friday. In this period, no eatables would be delivered from villages to cities. Although the state government has put in place necessary alternatives to minimise the impact of farmers’ agitation. But some market analysts note that cities are bound to see a shortage of items, such as milk and vegetables.

In Faridkot, Punjab, farmers dumped their produce and ceased the supplies of vegetables, milk and fruits to cities, demanding waiver of farmer loan and speed up implementation of Swaminathan commission.

In Sambhal, Uttar Pradesh, farmers went on ‘KisanAvkash’ a 10-day strike demanding implementation of Swaminathan commission and farmers’ loan waiver.

Mr Shiv Kumar Sharma noted: “More than 130 farmers organisations across the country are with us. This [movement] has now become a nationwide agitate. We have accordingly named our protest ‘Gaon Band’. 

We won’t be going to cities, as we don’t want to disturb the normal lives of the people there.” He added that the organisations will convene on June 11th in Bhopal to discuss the further course to take.

June 6th would mark the first anniversary of the death of farmers due to firing and the beating by Police in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, which cut short seven farmers’ lives and left several injured.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Shyam Prakash took to social media to share his views on the issue. He posted on his Facebook account on the farmers’ protest towards his party.

“Officers are corrupt. Farmers aren’t pleased with the government’s efforts. There are many reasons behind BJP’s loss.” He added that he had nothing against the ruling government, but faulted officers. “Corruption, as compared to the previous government, is on a rise. That is the reason for my resentment,” the post read. 

Reacting to the farmers’ protest, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, spared no time in accusing farmers’ agitation as an agitation of the Congress party. He said his party Bharatiya Janata Party governed a people’s government, and that the state government to be working for the welfare of the larger population, including farmers and that it [state] has taken several measures in the interest of the people.

He blamed Congress party to play party politics and for politicising farmers for their party’s benefit.

Answering a question from the gathered media, Shiv Kumar Sharma was candid about the many political parties that backed his movement. He said that BJP was not interested in addressing farmers’ plight across the country and that both the Central and State governments were trying to instigate violence in their protests. He accused Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his government of creating hatred against them.

In Delhi, Congress president Mr Rahul Gandhi hinted that he would be visiting farmers in Mandasaur on June 6, where six farmers perished a year ago in police firing. The Congress leader is slated to hold a condolence meet and address a rally in the region. Sources close to the inner circle of Gandhi said the rally is expected to have a huge turn-out with waves of people coming in support of their party and their leader’s stance.