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SKM Launches Jan Jagran Yatra in 20 States to Highlight Unmet MSP Demand Among Others

The farmers’ collective plans to reach out to 12 crore families; gives call for Tractor Parade on Republic Day.
Lakhimpur protest

The constituent organisations of SKM have been demanding MSP equivalent to 1.5 times of comprehensive cost, including all inputs.

Representational Image

New Delhi: The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), a collective of farmers unions that spearheaded the historic struggle against three farm laws, has launched Jan Jagran Yatra to make people aware about their ongoing campaign for minimum support price (MSP) as per Swaminathan commission recommendation. The other issues to be highlighted are a one-time loan waiver, halt to privatisation of the electricity sector and termination of Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra (whose son is an accused in the mowing down of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri).

The constituent organisations of SKM have been demanding MSP equivalent to 1.5 times of comprehensive cost, including all inputs like fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, diesel, rent and harvesting.

SKM leaders said state units of the Morcha in 20 states shall conduct a “massive Jana Jagaran Campaign from 10th to 20th January 2024 across India through door-to-door visits and distribution of leaflets.”

The Yatra comes ahead of inauguration of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

The aim of this mass campaign is to expose the “pro-corporate economic policies” of the BJP-led Narendra Modi government, that are detrimental to the interest of farmers, workers and people at large, causing large scale unemployment, uncontrolled price rise, poverty, indebtedness and unbridled rural to urban migration.

Ashok Dhawale, president, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) told NewsClick over phone that the Morcha has put onus on both, the Union government and the Opposition, to clear their stand on MSP and other demands.

“We had to launch the campaign because the BJP government has not fulfilled its promise of forming committee with mandate to ensure legal status of MSP. The farmers unions are also asking the parties in the opposition to clear their stands as far as these demands are concerned,” he said.

The Union government, through then Secretary, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Sanjay Agarwal, had ensured the farmers’ leadership of forming a committee for legal validity of MSP, withdrawing cases by the Centre and the state government for staging protests during the protest, employment and compensation to the martyr farmers who died at the borders during the struggle.

Jagmohan Singh, secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Union-Dakaunda, told Newsclick over the phone that the detailed plan of the campaign and the national convention will be made public after the meeting of Punjab-based farmers unions on January 2.

In a statement, SKM said that the campaign is “against the Modi government’s corporate raj-based development, dependent on GDP rate, and its narrative of India becoming $3 trillion- economy, which “hides the decline in the per capita income, growing income inequality and denial of minimum support price to farmers and minimum wage to workers.”

“The farmer and worker activists will visit households and distribute leaflets and ensure massive participation of the people in the forthcoming joint and coordinated struggle actions against corporate exploitation under the patronage of RSS-BJP rule. State level coordination committees will meet immediately to prepare for the campaign to target to cover at least 40% of the 30.40 crores households”, the statement read.

SKM will also hold Tractor Parade on January 26 (Republic Day), 2024, at the district-level in all the States and Union Territories. It is expected that the parade shall be held in at least 500 districts.

SKM has appealed to farmers to join the official Republic Day Parade in great numbers and after the conclusion of the formal parade, the Tractor Parade will be held.

Farmers participating in the Tractor Parade will fly high the National Flag along with the flags of the constituent organisations. They will take pledge to protect the principles of Democracy, Federalism, Secularism and Socialism enshrined in the Constitution of India. Along with tractors, other vehicles and motor bikes also will join the parade,” SKM said.

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