Lucknow: Before Uttar Pradesh goes full swing into campaign mode for the upcoming Assembly elections early next year, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), a collective banner of over 40 farmers’ unions that is leading the protests at Delhi borders against the three contentious farm laws, has announced a ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’ on November 22 in Lucknow.
“The Kisan Mahapanchayat on November 22 will be historic. It will prove to be the last nail in the coffin for the anti-farmer government and the three black laws. Now, the farmers' movement will also intensify in Purvanchal,” Tikait said in a tweet.
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader had earlier warned the Centre that farmers would reinvigorate their protest at Delhi’s borders if their demands were not met till November 26 (marking one year of the farmers protests).
"The Central government has time till November 26, after that from November 27, farmers will reach the border at the protest sites around Delhi by tractors from villages and strengthen the protest site with solid fortifications.”
Earlier, the Lucknow rally was planned for October 26, but it was decided to defer it to November-end so that the harvest season does not come in the way and farmers are able to participate in full strength. The Mahapanchayat was announced as part of the series of demonstrations to protest the death of four farmers and a local journalist at Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh.
However, the venue for the "mahapanchayat" that would be held under the banner of "Kisan Morcha" is not yet decided, the SKM leader told NewsClick, adding that farmers from across the state, including Western Uttar Pradesh, Purvanchal, Bundelkhand region and Terai belt will take part in the event. Farmers from Haryana, Maharashtra, Punjab and the Southern states, will also participate in the rally.
Harinam Singh Verma, state vice-president of BKU and a key organiser of Lucknow Mahapanchayat, told NewsClick: “Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath yesterday visited Shamli and Kairana and said exodus of Hindus from Western UP is a big challenge. The CM remembers the exodus when he is about to complete his tenure in a couple of months. He is raising Hindu-Muslim issues to divert the attention from real issues”.
Highlighting the plight of farmers, Verma said: “Every day, farmers can be seen waiting for hours in long queues outside cooperative societies for fertiliser, but he (CM Yogi) did not utter a single line for farmers who are struggling to get of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP),” adding that from Lucknow Mahapanchayat, farmers will launch ‘Vote ki Chot’ (cause damage by voting) campaign against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government to teach them a lesson.
“It is need of hour to send a loud and clear message to the farmers of Purvanchal about the struggle of farmers at Delhi border for the past 11 months and also raise their issues including stray cattle menace, hike in power tariff and expensive fertilisers.” said the BKU leader, adding that they would mount pressure on the government to arrest and sack Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni whose son is an accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
Meanwhile, preparations are in full swing for the November 22, ‘kisan mahapanchayat’ in Western Uttar Pradesh. BKU leaders are confident of a large turnout similar to Muzaffarnagar Mahapanchayat.
Yogesh Sharma, the Muzaffarnagar district president of BKU said: “The November 26 Mahapanchayat will decide the direction of the movement against agricultural laws and the mission of Samyukta Kisan Morcha. We are campaigning on a war footing to make the upcoming event a success,” he said, adding that the meeting with peasants and Khap leaders in Muzaffarnagar and Meerut district regarding the roadmap to reach Lucknow in a large number.
A similar meeting was held in Mau region where farmer leaders from Azamgarh, Ballia and Ghazipur gathered to discuss the strategy for the proposed September 22 rally in Lucknow.