Farmers leaders celebrated the Supreme Court’s advice to the Union government for a Committee on December 16, 2020. However, they clarified that the committee will only be useful if the government agrees to withdraw the three anti-farmer-dubbed laws.
“Farmers have always been ready to put forward their views, but the Delhi agitation will continue until the three Acts and the Electricity Bill 2020 are withdrawn, even if a Committee is formed. Representatives of all national and regional farmers’ organizations need to be represented in a decisive manner,” said the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) in a press release.
Regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that farmers are being misled, the AIKSCC alleged that it is the central government that is fooling farmers. Members said that Modi is repeating his earlier explanation that farmers won’t lose land, that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system and government procurement will continue, that the laws create opportunities for farmers, even though his actions prove the opposite. They claimed the PM was diverting attention from the main issue.
As an example, they talked about PM Modi’s wrongful claim on December 15 that milk production has been promoted by the private sector when in reality the government-aided cooperative sector helped milk farmers. They said the entry of the private sector stressed the milk sector.
“Two days ago Modi appealed to industry leaders to invest in agriculture. His ministers say that the Government of India has set aside a fund of Rs 1 lac crore to help this corporate investment. Modi’s document Putting Farmers’ First says that the laws ‘open up avenues for agri-business’. It is the Corporate and MNCs who these laws and Modi govt is helping, not the farmers,” they said.
Moreover, leaders anticipate a massive increase in participation at the Ghazipur border along with the Singhu border, the Tikri border and the Shahjahanpur border. More than 1,000 members of Ekta Parishad from Maharashtra will reach Palwal and 100 people from Gujarat are scheduled to reach Shahjahanpur by Wednesday.
According to Dr. Sanjay Madhav at the Rajasthan-Haryana border, agitated farmers received support from all social classes. The Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee from Sri Ganganagar and the Gurdwara Budha Joh from Kota city made arrangements for langar (food and drink) for farmers. Nearby villagers offered milk, vegetables, lassi, sugar, grains and panchayats also promised to provide food items every day.
More farmers are to arrive at the place from Rajasthan’s Kota, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Churu, Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh.
Similarly, a grand march in support of farmers in Kolkata produced a massive turnout.
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh farmers protested State Agriculture Minister Kamal Patel’s abusive language. The farmers’ organisation said locals forced the state government to retreat after burning effigies of Patel at several places in the state. The government was allegedly forcing farmers in Satna district to buy seeds of certain companies, failing which their crop would not be procured.
The AIKSCC also welcomed the massive mobilisation of tribals in Barwani district in support of the demand for repealing of the anti-farmer Acts.
Lastly, the AIKSCC condemned the government for mis-utilizing IRCTC data to selectively address Sikhs, trying to invoke sympathy for Modi and attempting to divide the farmers’ movement along religious lines. As Prime Minister of India this act is highly immoral, they said.
The organisations reminded people about the December 20 call for a Homage Day to pay respects to farmers who lost their lives for the movement.
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