‘Kisan Mahapanchyat’ to be held outside Parliament on March 20: Samyukta Kisan Morcha

The farmers' platform has announced that the 'Mahapanchayat' will be held to press for a legal guarantee on minimum support price (MSP), an unkept promise of the Modi.2 regime.

Kisan Mahapanchayat
Image Courtesy:timesofindia.indiatimes.com

CHANDIGARH: The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella platform of various farmers’ unions, on Thursday, February 9, announced that it would hold a ‘Kisan Mahapanchyat’ outside the Parliament in Delhi on March 20.

The organisation of farmers’ unions also stated that the ‘Mahapanchayat’ will be held to press for a legal guarantee on minimum support price (MSP) and further called the 2023 Budget “anti-farmer.”

The SKM’s  demands include withdrawal of cases against farmers, Rs 5,000 monthly pension for farmers, debt waiver, the sacking of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra, whose son is an accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, and compensation for those who died during the farmers’ stir among others.

Senior SKM leader Dr Darshan Pal after the meeting of the farmers’ unions at Kurukshetra in Haryana told The New Indian Express that the body has decided to hold ‘Kisan Mahapanchyat’ in Delhi on March 20 and they will seek permission for it to be held at the Ram Lila ground and if not given permission then they will hold it at Jantar Mantar.

Showing a distinct and broader commitment to equality and non-discrimination, the recent meeting also reportedly passed a resolution demanding the dismissal of Haryana Minister Sandeep Singh was accused of sexual assault by a woman coach.

“This March 20, 2023 ‘Mahapanchayat’ will be dedicated to Bhagat Singh Rajguru and Sukhdev. We will reiterate various demands, including a legal guarantee for the minimum support price. This ‘Mahapanchayat’ will be against anti- farmer budget and other pending issues including legal guarantee of MSP procurement of all crops, loan waiver, pension for farmers and agricultural workers, demanding a pro-farmer policy for insurance claims of the damaged crops, withdrawal of Electricity Amendment Bill 2022 and dismissal of MoS Ajay Mishra Teni for his role in Lakhimpur Kheri incident,’’ said Singh.

Singh has described the recently declared annual budget as “anti-farmer” and “anti-agriculture” due to the drastic cuts in all allocations pertaining to farmers, rural development, education, health, food for work rural programme (MNREGA) apart from subsidy cuts in fertilizers, food security etc. “The next course of action for a pan-India farmers movement will be decided in another meeting of SKM,” he said.

The farmers’ movement that captured the imagination of the people and drew support from wider walks of like through 2020-2021, has since been articulating several nuggets that reveal a wholistic alternate political orientation.

November 2022

Three months ago, in Manesar in Haryanathe Bellsonica Mazdoor Union held a Mazdoor Kisan Panchayat from 10 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Gurgaon District Collectors office, protesting the anti-people policies of Modi government and elaborated on the ‘pro-capitalist designs of the rulers.’At the time, as reported by Sabrangindia, the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan who had been present with other peasant organisation leaders at the meeting along with workers organisations from Gurgaon and Uttarakhand also supported the collective demands.

A few days before that, in Uttarakhand, theInqilabi Mazdoor Kendra also made a considerable contribution, through ideological-political campaigning and the Intercare Workers in preparation staged a mini-maha panchayat at which cloth Mazdooor Union workers, Intercare workers from Uttarakhand, Hitachi Contract workers, and Kisan workers also participated.Bellsonica Union secretary Ajit Singh, speaking to the media at the time, explained the objectives of the Mazdoor Kisan Panchayat and narrated the goal of the four labour laws instated by Narendra Modi and why it was essential to get them scrapped.

A month before that, on October 22, 2022, last year, farmers under the banner of Samuyukta Kisan Morcha as a part of the 11 day dharna against land takeover in Azamgarh for airport construction, held a peoples’ parliament in Hariram in Khiriya bag. Over a thousand persons participated.Organisations participating were Samyukta Kisan Morcha,Kisan Sangrami Parishad, Kisan Sangram Samiti,Jai Kisan Andolan,and Bhumia Bachao.The event highlighted the strategy of the ruling BJP party in allowing every endeavour of the corporates to grab land and endorsing the International policy of United States of America in agricultural production. Speakers had also analysed on how the 3 bill which had been passed earlier, had stripped the farming community of any bargaining power and the foundation of any democratic aspirations. They explained how all over India such a strategy was being extended, in denying farmers of land rights in favour of a a pro-corporate model of agriculture. It was asserted how the farmers had no expectations of the ruling party bringing the criminals involved in running over the framers to the book, but would still intensify the struggle at any cost.

February 2023

Coming back to the February 9, 2023, recent national-level meeting held at Jat Dharamshala in Kurukshetra was presided by Yudhvir Singh, Dr Sunilam and Raja Ram Singh who also finalised the rules and regulations for the affiliation of various constituents with the platform and its structural composition in order to consolidate and expand the umbrella organization that successfully spearheaded a year-long struggle against three farm laws.

Detailed ‘rules and regulations’ of the Morcha’s day-to-day programme activities were finalised. A coordination committee of 31 members will be formed and representatives from farmers’ unions at the district level and all India level will be taken. There will also be a general body of the Morcha and rotational secretariat to ensure the participation of everyone,” he said.

Two years and five months ago, in September 2021, the Kisan Mahapanchayat held in western Uttar Pradesh (UP) on the eve of the state polls made a significant calls for harmony between all religions and castes. The leader of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait says “Allahu Akbar”, crowd responded with “Har Har Mahadev” as sign of unity.

Tikait, a mass leader among farmers had even addressed a gathering where, referring to his father Mahendra Singh Tikait, who is revered in the farming community of the area, had raised both these chants together to encourage unity of farmers. He added that politicians “will divide, we [farmers] will unite people.” 


Mazdoor Kisan Maha Panchayat staged by Besonika Mazdoor Union in Manesar 

Samyukta Kisan Morcha stages Peoples panchayat in Hariram

Kisan Mahapanchayat calls for harmony, right-wing adds communal twist



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