Farmers to Move to Parliament from November 29 on Tractors from Protest Sites
New Delhi: After a marathon meeting on Tuesday, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha or SKM -- a collective of over 40 farmer organisations that has been spearheading protests against three Central farm laws for one year now -- announced that thousands of farmers would march to Parliament from protest sites on Delhi’s borders in Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur.
On November 26, marking the completion of one year of the protests, farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan would start gathering at the sites in the national capital to reiterate their demand for repeal of the three Central farm laws.
The SKM said farmers’ organisations in distant states would be observing the first anniversary of their historic struggle in state capitals by organising big rallies.
Satyawan Malik, who presided over the meeting, said a contingent of 500 farmers would go from Ghazipur and Tikri borders to stage a protest outside Parliament every day, with another contingent joining them the next day. “If they are stopped anywhere, they will court arrest,” he added.
The leaders maintained that the unions would be deploying 10 members with their identity proof to ensure that no miscreant enters the contingent. Prem Singh Bhangu, Secretary, All India Kisan Federation, told NewsClick that it would be the duty of the unions to deploy people with identity cards.
“We discussed the modalities at length keeping in view the incident of January 26 this year. Tikri and Ghazipur borders were chosen because they have been opened by the Delhi Police,” he added.
In a press statement, the morcha said: “On November 29th the winter session of Parliament will begin in Delhi. The SKM decided that on and from November 29th until the end of this Parliament session, 500 selected farmer volunteers will move every day to Parliament in tractor trollies peacefully and with full discipline, to assert their right to protest in the national capital in order to increase the pressure manifold on this obstinate, insensitive, anti-people and pro-corporate BJP central government, to force it to concede the demands for which farmers across the country have launched a historic struggle for one year.”
Ashok Dhawale, President, All India Kisan Sabha told NewsClick that major mobilisation at protest sites would be from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. However, the role of the states will be crucial in making the agitation more assertive.
“We have decided that major rallies will be held in state capitals. In Kerala, the agitation will be held in every district. Similar agitation will take place in Tamil Nadu. A Mahapanchayat will take place in Mumbai on November 28 in Azad Maidan. Importantly, the crucial mahapanchayat will take place in Lucknow on November 22 this month. In Haryana, a state convention of the morcha will take place in Jind on November 16 and jatthas (contingents) will go to every village to ensure widest participation of the people,” he added.
Dhawale said on November 28, a massive Kisan-Mazdoor Mahapanchayat will be held at Azad Maidan in Mumbai. The event will be jointly hosted by over 100 organisations under the banner of Samyukta Shetkari Kamgar Morcha (SSKM) to mark the completion of one year of the historic farmers' struggle. November 28 marks the death anniversary of great reformer Mahatma Jyotirao Phule.
The AIKS leader said the mahapanchayat will also denounce the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government on all fronts and would raise several burning issues of the working people, including repeal of the farm laws and labour codes, a Central law to guarantee a fair MSP (minimum support price), halving the price of diesel, petrol and cooking gas, and a halt to privatisation and selling the country for a pittance.”
Dhawale maintained that the mahapanchayat would be a converging point for people involved in Asthi Kalash Yatra (a march with the ashes of deceased farmers of Lakhimpur).
“All the Lakhimpur Kheri Shaheed Kalash Yatras, which began from Pune on October 27, and are now being taken all over the state by various kisan organisations amidst rousing receptions, and will converge in Mumbai on November 27. On that day, the Shaheed Kalash Yatra will pay homage to the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji at Shivaji Park, the memorial to Dr B R Ambedkar at Chaitya Bhoomi, the memorial to martyr Babu Genu who was crushed in Mumbai in 1930 by a British-driven truck when he opposed British cloth during the freedom struggle, and the statue of Mahatma Gandhi near Mantralaya.”
Talking to NewsClick on the sidelines of the meeting, Dharamender Malik from Bharatiya Kisan Union-Tikait said that the unions had ensured that the agitation was led without any violence. “I hail from an organisation which mobilised a million people at Boat Club, New Delhi, to assert their right of fair compensation. Today, we are more connected. So, this is going to be a historic struggle for reclaiming the just due,” he said.
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