Maharashtra farmers 'Pol Khol Yatra' started on Saturday from Puntamba village of Ahmednagar. Puntamba is the place from where the historic strike of farmers started in June 2017. Farmers decided to go to every district and hold a rally, meetings, gathering etc., to make people aware about the anti-farmer laws.
The ‘Pol Khol Yatra’ is part of farmers’ nationwide campaign. Looking at the determination of farmers, the Modi Sarkar and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has started a mass propaganda to “mislead” people about laws. This campaign is called 'Kisan Atma Nirbhar Yatra'. These are clear signs of Modi Sarkar working on the plan to ignore farmers plight and push ahead current laws, according to farmers.
Angry over this attitude of Modi Sarkar, the farmers see this as a plan by the Central government to discredit them with help of majority of mainstream media. Therefore, in meeting in Delhi, the All India Kisan Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), and umbrella body of over 300 farmer organistons, has decided to launch a counter campaign. In Maharashtra, the farmers’ coordination committee has decided to name the campaign 'Pol Khol Yatra' to expose the government's intentions behind laws.
The coordinator of Maharashtra state farmers struggle committee Sandip Gidde, is leading the campaign in Puntamba.
"The agitation has spread over North India. Why is Maharashtra not showing similar sensitivity? The misinformation campaign by BJP needs to be countered to make farmers and people aware. This yatra will successfully counter and expose the propaganda," said Gidde. The trucks in the yatra were shown the green flag by a daughter of a farmer from Puntamba.
The yatra will end in Nanded on January 20, the death anniversary of Guru Gobindsingh, the 10th guru of the Sikh community. During these 11 days, various programmes have been planned along with yatra. Street corner meetings, reaching out to weekly bazars, small gatherings at various APMCs (Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee) plus other agricultural related markets, rallies and sit in agitations have been planned for these 11 days.
Ajit Nawale, leader of All India Kisan Sabha in Maharashtra said the campaign will also be launched from various platforms. "We are planning online as well as offline meetings all over state. Also, there will be attempts to reach to youths, college students to reach out. Various like-minded organisations are planning this awareness campaign. It will help us to reach widest possible circles in state," he said.
Farmers sitting on the Delhi borders have decided to not move until the three laws scrapped by the Modi Sarkar. They need a constant flow and pressure of farmers from all over India. Only then the Modi government would accept their demands, say some farmers leaders, adding that the ‘Pol Khol Yatra’ will be an important step to intensify the current agitation.