Thousands of farmers plan to march to the capital this week, chanting the slogan ‘Dilli chalo’ in a Kisan Mukti March to demand that the government bring in legislation providing a guaranteed minimum support price for their crops and freedom from debts.
The march, on November 29 and 30, is being organised under the banner of the All-India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), a platform of 200 farmers’ groups.
“The next election will be fought on the agrarian crisis,” said Hannan Mollah, general secretary of the All India Kisan Sabha, a member of the AIKSCC. Over 4 lakh farmers had committed suicide and 79 cattle traders had been lynched in the last four-and-a-half years of this government, he claimed.
Launching his book Farmers Under Modi Raj: Double Income or Double Jeopardy , Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav — who is also an AIKSCC leader — claimed that the current administration was the most anti-farmer in the country’s history. “Note-bandi [demonetisation] and drought-handling policies show that the Narendra Modi government is not just displaying a lack of political will, but active hostility,” he said.
Organisers of the march say over one lakh farmers will take part, in a bid to create electoral clout. All political parties except the BJP have been invited. “Farmers will ensure that a government that brought in notebandi will face vote-bandi (no votes),” joint secretary of the All-India Kisan Sabha Vijoo Krishnan said.