Farmers to protest in New Delhi

A ‘Delhi Chalo’ campaign will be organised on November 1, to urge the government to provide better financial and other facilities to farmers, said M Gopal, chief secretary of the Akhila Bharat Kisan Sabha state unit.

He addressed a press conference at the Communist Party of India office on Saturday.
“The governments have been sidelining all our demands in the last two years. We have demanded monthly pension of Rs 3,000 for farmers who are 60 years and older, workers of all category, both agriculture based and otherwise. Tamil Nadu is paying Rs 3,000 as monthly pension to such farmers and workers, Maharashtra pays Rs 600, Uttar Pradesh pays Rs 1,000 and Goa pays Rs 2,000 as pension. The Karnataka government is urged to
implement a similar scheme in our State,” said Gopal.

Pension stopped

“The monthly pension of 11,000 senior citizens has been stopped in Mulbagal taluk,” he complained and demanded that the order be repealed immediately.

“The dryland areas in the State are facing severe drought. The State government should provide 3,000 tmc water from the Western Ghats to Kolar district. This will prove highly beneficial to the residents of rural and urban areas,” he urged.

Gopal also demanded that women’s self-help and empowerment groups should be given interest-free loan up to Rs 10 lakh. “The government should purchase all the products of the groups. It should also stop funding BPL card holders but give them rice and wheat as ration. Residents of only a few districts get 35 kg rice and wheat, which should be expanded to the rest of the State.”

One BPL cardholder should be given 40 kg rice, wheat and other essential food items. Relief measures should be implemented immediately in the 152 drought-hit taluks of the State. Also, farmers should be recompensed for the losses, Gopal insisted.

“A total of 10,000 farmers from all over Karnataka, including 5,000 farmers from Kolar will travel from Bangarpet to New Delhi on October 28, with all the above demands. The farmers travelling from Kolar have been provided special train facility,” Gopal said and added that they will stage a mega rally in the national capital on November 1 before submitting a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“If the government still rejects the requests, we will organise a ‘Jail Bharo’ campaign in December,” he warned.

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