Patna: The Opposition Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) in Bihar has decided to call on the farmers in all panchayats across the state to mobilise them for a human chain on January 30 in support of the farmers protesting against the three newly legislated farm laws.
The Opposition call, comprising of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress and the Left parties, to intensify the protests against the farm laws comes at a time when the NDA-led state government has decided to focus on the collection of funds for construction of the Ram Temple, while farmers across the country have been voicing their rejection of the laws over and over again.
Meanwhile, the indefinite dharna against the agriculture reforms, under the banner of Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Mahasabha in Patna entered the fifth day on Monday, January 11.
Following the decision for forming a human chain, Mahagathbandhan leaders have started campaigning at the grass roots level to garner support for the call. “RJD leaders and workers from district to block and panchayat level have been directed to reach out to farmers in as many villages as possible to persuade them to join the human chain against the farm laws,” senior RJD leader Bhai Virendar said.
After the meeting on Sunday, RJD Tejashwi Yadav told media that the NDA-led central government does not care about procurement of paddy at MSP and has no concern for the protesting farmers at the national capital, despite the death toll rising daily. Therefore, it is to the opposition parties to support the farmers. “We've decided that on Martyrs' Day all parties of the Mahagathbandhan will form a human chain, beginning from the panchayat level. The government is trying to take away the work of even those who are engaged in farming and are residing in the villages, even as the youth—who are with degrees—remain unemployed.”
Also read: Farm Laws: How Bihar’s Peasantry was Pushed to the Brink after APMCs were Scrapped
Referring to the laws as “kaale kanoon (black laws), the RJD leader also appealed to all farmers and their organisations to hit the streets against the legislations and express their solidarity with the farmers protesting in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and other parts of the country. He further targeted Chief Minister’s repeated claims of farmers having no problem in the state by saying that, “After abolition of APMCs (Agricultural Produce Market Committees) in 2006, farmers have been suffering in Bihar. The migration wave which began then has not stopped yet.”
Talking about their plan of action, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, Arun Kumar Mishra said that all parties of the Mahagathbandhan will focus on spreading awareness about the farm laws among farmers in villages across the state.
He said, “The Centre has been cheating the farmers in the name of the farm laws. It was the same NDA government at the Centre that had announced that it would double the farmers’ income by 2022, but instead, it ended up doing away with the minimum support price (MSP).”
CPI (ML) leader of legislative party, Mahboob Alam, said that the farmers' protests in Bihar have spread from Bhojpur district to Katihar and Patna to Purnia. “In Bihar, farmers including marginal, small and landless farm labourers have joined the protest against Farm laws,” he added.
Another CPI (ML) leader Satyadev Ram, president of the Akhil Bharatiya Khet wa Gramin Mazdoor Sabha (agriculture and rural workers union), said, “We have been staging indefinite protest at all district headquarters in the state since last week. Farmers and farm labourers have joined hands demanding the repeal of farm laws.”
The Mahagathbandhan has organised several protests against the laws in the past month, in view of the fact that nearly two-thirds of Bihar’s total population of 12 crore is dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. Most of them are small and marginal farmers, as per government data.
Also read: Thousands of Farmers Protest against Farm Laws in Patna, Police Lathi Charge on Rally