Agrarian Crisis: Kisan Sabha to hit streets again

Agrarian Crisis: Kisan Sabha to hit streets again

The CPM-backed All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) is once again hitting the streets in the coming months against the Narendra Modi government, accusing it of "doubling the woes of farmers instead of their income" as Budget proposals avoided addressing agrarian crisis. PTI file photo

The CPM-backed All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) is once again hitting the streets in the coming months against the Narendra Modi government, accusing it of "doubling the woes of farmers instead of their income" as Budget proposals avoided addressing agrarian crisis.

It is organising three protests along with other organisations in the next two months across the country on issues ranging from the eviction of tribals from forest land and passage of laws on remunerative prices and freedom from indebtedness besides opposing the proposed changes in labour laws.

"Last five years were a betrayal of farmers by Modi government. In the coming five years, there will be no difference. The new Modi government's first budget is no indication of solving the problems of farmers. It avoided addressing the agrarian crisis," AIKS General Secretary Hannan Mollah told reporters.

The government has decided to extend its scheme for providing Rs 6,000 per year to all farmers but "this is nothing", as a farmer has to spend Rs 80,000 to Rs one lakh on farming, he said.

Mollah wondered how there would be doubling the income of farmers when the agriculture growth is just 2-2.5% while experts are unanimous that for such a thing to happen, the growth should be 14%.

AIKS Joint Secretary Vijoo Krishnan said, “While the government is talking about doubling farmers income, it is not willing to give proper minimum support price as recommended by the MS Swaminathan Committee. There is no proper procurement. The insurance companies are collecting huge premium but when it comes to paying compensation, farmers have to run from pillar to post."

Krishnan said the 2014 promise of providing remunerative prices by the BJP has been violated. He accused the major companies of accruing benefits due to de-regularisation of fertiliser prices and targetting the government for reducing fertiliser subsidies.

The first protest will be on July 22 when AIKS will join with Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch, All India Agricultural Workers Union and Bhumi Adhikar Andolan to protest against the government's inaction in saving over one lakh tribals who are facing eviction following a Supreme Court order. AIKS will be impleading in the ongoing case in the apex court.

The August 3 protest will see AIKS joining All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, a conglomeration of farmers Unions, for nationwide protests demanding immediate passage of laws on remunerative prices and freedom from indebtedness. On September 5, it will join trade unions, including the CITU, against anti-worker policies of the government.

The AIKS is known for its protest in the run-up to Lok Sabha elections. Its Long March in Maharashtra and joint Delhi protest with CITU last year had evoked a huge response.