Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

SKM to Protest in Delhi, Demands Fulfilment of Promises

Kisan Mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar demands legal guarantee of MSP and payment of sugarcane dues.
SKM leaders address the Kisan Mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh.

SKM leaders address the Kisan Mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh.

Lucknow: The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) called off its indefinite protest at Muzaffarnagar (Uttar Pradesh) Government Inter College on Friday after organising a Kisan Mahapanchayat and announced a fresh protest under the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) from March 20.

SKM leaders address the Kisan Mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh.

A large number of SKM farmers Shamli, Baghpat, Meerut, Saharanpur, Bijnor and other districts of UP and Haryana, Punjab and Uttarakhand attended the Mahapanchayat.

SKM leaders reaffirmed that the protest would continue until the Narendra Modi government accepts their demands, including legal guarantee of minimum support prices (MSP), payment of sugarcane dues, end to forceful land acquisition and curbs on the stray cattle menace.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait, accompanied by his brother Naresh Tikait, warned officials against erratic power supply in villages and installation of meters on tube wells. “Delhi will be our next destination. We will not rest until the government fulfils its promise,” he said.

The BKU leader reminded the government of its “promise of free electricity for irrigation made during the Assembly election campaign. “Contrary to the promise, now tube wells, which are the major source of irrigation in the region, are being metered,” he said adding that the government “should explain its policy before installing meters”.

Accusing the both Union and state government of “betraying” farmer leaders, he said, “We have been demanding the fulfilment of promises for the last one year. Even officers who had given written assurances about the SKM’s demands are inaccessible.” Instead the government is “putting various restrictions on farmers, including forcible a phaseout of old tractors”.

The Mahapanchayat wants to “send out the larger message of farmers being upset over the ban on diesel vehicles, including tractors, that are more than 10 years old”, Tikait added. 

Naresh Tikait said that farmers were protesting since January 28 but “no one from the government approached us. Instead, the government is misleading us. Even the Union Budget is not favourable to farmers. The agriculture schemes are meant to trap farmers in debts and snatch their land,” he alleged. “We have decided to move to the national capital next month and the protest would continue till our demands are not fulfilled,” he added.

Meanwhile, small farmer groups and organisations have tarted convening panchayats in villages to mobilise farmers to unite for the fulfilment of the demands.


Several BKU members told Newsclick that many sugarcane farmers are facing financial crisis and compelled to shift back to wheat and paddy sowing due to non-payment of dues. “We are completely dependent on farming. If we are not paid on time, how would we survive and pay fees of children? We are not able to feed our families,” Samarjeet, a farmer from Bijnor said.

The farmers said they don’t even know at what rate they willbe paid in the current crushing season. According to the Sugar Industry and Cane Development department website, UP sugar mills owed nearly Rs 4,632 crore to farmers as on December 30 for the 2021-22 crushing season.

More than 356 lakh tonnes of sugarcane has been crushed in the mills so far in the current season, producing 32.20 lakh tonnes of sugar. A payment of Rs 6,343 crore was made against the crop procured from farmers as on January 3, according to the website. In the 2021-22 season, more than 1,016 lakh tonnes of sugarcane was crushed against a payment of Rs 33,421 crore.

The farmers also said that the state government is yet to announce the state advisory price (SAP) for sugarcane despite the 2022-23 season nearing halfway.

Mills are paying farmers as per the SAP fixed for the last season. The current SAP is Rs 350 per quintal for the early variety of sugarcane, Rs 340 for the general variety and Rs 335 for the rejected variety. The protesting farmers are demanding an increase of Rs 50 per quintal for each category. The farmers also expressed anger at the stray cattle menace. They alleged that many farmers have died but the Yogi Adityanath government isn’t bothered despite promising to curb the menace during the Assembly election.

 “Apart from sugarcane dues, the stray cattle menace is a big challenge for us because our crops are being destroyed by cattle at night. We are tired of listening to the state government’s lies and fake promises,” Swaminath Singh, from Mathura, told Newsclick.

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram