'Mission defeat BJP': Farmers’ protest shifts focus to Purvanchal & Awadh region from Western UP
Apart from Awadh and Purvanchal, Bundelkhand will get prominence in the campaign led by farmers against the BJP. Drought-ridden Bundelkhand is considered one of the most backward parts of the state
In order to accomplish their “defeat Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) mission” in forthcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, protesting farmers have decided to shift their focus towards Awadh and Purvanchal region of the state from Western districts, NH has learned.
So far, Western part of the state bordering with national capital Delhi has been the epicenter of the nine-month-long farmers’ protest against three newly enacted farm laws.
Leaders of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) – an umbrella organization of over 40 farm organizations of the country, after wide and prolonged deliberations, have chalked out a strategy to spread the protest in both of the regions which remained “not neutral but uncharged” in the view of the SKM.
“There is huge discontent among farmers in the eastern and middle part of the state…The anger is brewing but there is no organization on the ground to spell out their frustration,” said Dharmendra Malik, spokesman of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU).
Speaking with NH, Malik, explained while in the last nine months, farmers’ organizations have established a robust network with teams working at grass-root level in Western UP, in the Eastern part, SKM has little presence.
An SKM leader who was involved in the discussions, held after the Muzaffarnagar Panchayat told NH that the umbrella body is trying to form and deploy teams at the district level in both regions.
“Earlier it was decided only 18 Kisan Mahapanchayats will be held all over the state to mobilize farmers against the BJP. But, following feedback from the ground, it has been decided that Kisan Panchayats will be held at the district level. Plus, small meetings at block level will also be organized,” said the farmer leader.
Apart from Awadh and Purvanchal, Bundelkhand will get prominence in the campaign led by farmers against the BJP. Drought-ridden Bundelkhand which shares borders with Madhya Pradesh is considered one of the most backward parts of the state.
Hannan Mollah, General Secretary of the All Indian Kisan Sabha told NH that over 80 teams of local farm organizations have been roped into work among the farming community in Eastern Uttar Pradesh.
“Our aim is to defeat the anti-poor, anti-farmer BJP in coming polls,” asserted Mollah.
When asked, will the farm leaders attack UP CM Yogi Adityanath during the campaign, Mollah replied over the phone, “We are not against any person or the state government per se. Our aim is to get three farm laws scrapped. Those who are against the laws are our friend, those who are in favor of the new laws are farmers' foes.”
An activist associated with the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) told NH that the Sitapur Kisan Panchayat held on Tuesday reflects the shift in focus.
He said, in the coming days, under the banner of the SKM, many more such meetings will be held in districts including Varanasi and Gorakhpur. Varanasi is the Lok Sabha constituency of the PM Modi and Gorakhpur is the home turf of the monk turned politician Yogi Adityanath.
It is worth recalling here that despite receiving no positive response from the Modi government, facing all odds including the Coronavirus pandemic, lakhs of farmers have been protesting against the three farm laws for the last nine months. Farmers camps at three border points – Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur near Delhi border have become synonymous with the unfazed and the longest peasantry movement of India.