Ahead of the winter session of parliament, farmers take out march to Raj Bhawan across the country
The nationwide call to march to the Raj Bhavans was given by the SKM to mark the second anniversary of the historic farm protest which forced the Modi govt to repeal the three contentious farm laws.
Demanding justice for Lakhimpur Kheri victims and a legally guaranteed MSP on all crops, thousands of farmers – under the banner of SKM, an umbrella body of over 30 farmers' unions – have taken out marches to Raj Bhawan on Constitution Day (November 26) across the country.
Observers believe that farmers taking out a march against the Modi government on Constitution Day within a year of calling off the protest, just before the start of the winter session of the parliament, is significant because:
It shows that the trust deficit between the Modi government and the farming community has only widened
The Modi government will likely push for reforms in the agriculture sector in the coming session
If demands are not met, especially a legal guarantee on MSP, the galvanization of farmers may lead to the start of another big protest
The Winter session of the Parliament will commence on 7 December and continue till 29 December, comprising 17 sittings spread over 23 days.
The nationwide call to march to the Raj Bhavans was given by the SKM to mark the second anniversary of the historic farm protest which forced the Modi government to repeal the three contentious farm laws.
Farmers loaded in buses, cars, and tractor-trolleys have started reaching state capitals across the country as part of the protest since morning.
Thousands of farmers reached Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh from Haryana and Punjab and handed over a memorandum to the governor of Punjab and administrator of Chandigarh, Banwarilal Purohit.
Rakesh Tikait, BKU leader and one of the most prominent faces of the farmers protest, on Friday, appealed to farmers to take part in the march
In Kolkata, hundreds of farmers and volunteers associated with the Jai Kisan movement marched toward Raj Bhawan.
Similar scenes were reported from other parts of the country as well. The SKM leaders followed by the farmers have submitted a memorandum to President Murmu, demanding -
Scraping the land acquisition Bill
Withdrawal of cases against farmers
Removal of union minister Ajay Mishra Teni from the Modi cabinet
A legally guaranteed MSP
Teni’s son, Ashish Mishra is the main accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri case where 8 farmers including a journalist were allegedly mowed down by him in October 2021.
Farmers have said that despite giving it in writing and agreeing to many demands put forth by them, the Modi government has done nothing.
Cases have not been withdrawn and there is no headway being made in giving MSP a legal status, said a BKU leader before the start of the march.
Though a committee on MSP was constituted by the Modi government in January this year, farmers' unions and the SKM have rejected the committee saying, “The committee included five government’s loyalists (representatives of other farmer organizations) who openly advocated all three anti-farmer laws."
Hanna Mollah, general secretary of AIKS said in Lucknow before the march: “The government has proved it is a traitor who has cheated the farmers of the country. They are protecting the corporates. They have proved they have no intention of fulfilling our demands."