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Karnataka Elections: Samyukta Kisan Panchayat Calls for ‘Defeat of Anti-Farmer and Communal BJP’

The organisations, which released a charter of demands, alos pledged to “take this message (to defeat BJP) to the grassroots level through door-to-door campaigns and other means of communication.”
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New Delhi: Farmers organisations, which held a "Samyukta Kisan Panchayat” in Bengaluru on Wednesday, gave a unanimous call to “defeat the anti-farmer, anti-people, communal BJP” in the upcoming polls in Karnataka.

The Samyukt Kisan Panchayat, attended by around 200 farmer leaders and 20 organisations, also agreed to take this message to the grassroots level through door-to-door campaigns and other means of communication, according to a press statement released by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM).

The panchayat was addressed by SKM leaders, such as Hannan Mollah, Yogendra Yadav, Kavitha Kuruganti, and Avik Saha, and was attended by Karnataka farmer leaders such as G C Bayareddy, Badagalapura Nagendra, H R Basavarajappa, agri scientist Prakash Kammaradi among others.

The panchayat witnessed the release of a Charter of Demands containing 15 demands and one particular and immediate demand from Farmers of Karnataka.

The demands included the repeal of anti-farmer laws enacted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in 2019-2020, a continuation of power subsidy given to farmers, enactment of a new law to legally guarantee the realisation of remunerative prices by all farmers for all agricultural commodities, and adequate compensation to farmers for the various losses suffered due to numerous disasters through effective disaster relief and crop insurance mechanisms set up by the government.

The farmers also demanded the enactment of the Farmers’ Freedom from Indebtedness Act to ensure that farmers and agricultural workers do not experience distress under the weight of debts and commit suicides due to agricultural losses. The government should also waive off all outstanding farm loans of farmers.

They also demanded the scrapping of amendments brought in by the BJP government to the Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act (LARR) 2013, and no land should be acquired against the wishes of farmers, the SKM release said.

With regard to Karnataka, an immediate demand was that the state government should immediately drop the “anti-farmer measures” of merging Nandini with Amul or allowing Amul to compete with Nandini in Karnataka.

Nandini is a conglomeration of more than 15,000 milk producers' cooperatives involving more than 60 lakh farmers' families. “The government should not venture to help the giant corporate company of Ambani,” said the release.

The Charter of Demands was presented to the major political parties of Karnataka, Janata Dal (Secular) JDS and Congress, whose leadership were invited to and attended the panchayat. The leadership of the BJP did not turn up. The leaders of political parties promised to include the farmers' demands in their election manifestos.

In view of the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections, the panchayat also discussed the role that can and should be played by farmers' organisations. After detailed discussion and deliberation, a unanimous call was given to “ defeat the anti-farmer, anti-people communal BJP” in the upcoming polls. All organisations agreed to take this message to the grassroots level through door-to-door campaigns and other means of communication, the release added.

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