Govt to face more agitations in coming months

Workers and farmers of various unions raise slogans during 'Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally' at Parliament Street, in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

As the country heads to the Lok Sabha polls, a nationwide two-day bandh, a youth march against unemployment, a central government employees' hartal and a farmers' 'Long March' to Parliament is what the Left mass organisations are planning after Wednesday's first-ever joint farmers-workers rally here.

Tens of thousands of farmers and workers marched to Parliament with a demand that the Narendra Modi-led BJP government must ensure measures to address farm distress and unemployment, control price rise and ensure minimum wages for workers, as leaders announced the next agitation programmes.

They said, "either change in policies or we will change the government".

Interestingly, Congress also tweeted its support to the CPM-backed rally with the protesters' hashtag #KisanMazdoorFightBack. "We stand with the farmers in their fight for getting an appropriate MSP, loan waiver and their rights on their land," the Congress said.

Coming against the backdrop of a series of agitational programmes organised by CPM-affiliated All India Kisan Sabha, CITU and All India Agriculture Workers' Union, the protest march started from the iconic Ramlila Maidan, reminding one of the recent AIKS-led 'Long March' in Maharashtra in March when farmers walked hundreds of kilometres to Mumbai to press for their demands.

Among the protesters are around 5,000 farmers from Maharashtra's Nashik who participated in the 'Long March'. The Nashik group had hired a special train to reach Delhi.

As the protest, attended by at least 1.5 lakh people according to the organisers' "conservative" estimates, rocked the capital leading to traffic jams, leaders spelt out a series of agitational programmes in the run-up to the 2019 polls, claiming that the Modi government cannot be trusted as it has woken up just nine months before the polls with announcements on MSP.

On September 28, trade unions are coming together for a national conclave where they will decide the dates for a two-day strike. On November 3, youth organisations are marching to Parliament protesting the growing unemployment in which workers and peasants will express their solidarity.

In more trouble for the government, central govt employees are likely to go a hartal while Delhi will resonate with a three-day Long March to Parliament by farmers' outfits starting November 28.

Addressing the protesters, Kisan Sabha President Ashok Dhawale said, “this government is Ambani-Adani govt, it is a government of Vijay Mallya, Mehul Choksi and Lalit Modi. Our struggle will intensify. We are warning the government that we will oust this government.” 

Kisan Sabha General Secretary Hannan Mollah said, “for farmers, the Modi raj is the raj of traitors...they are assaulting the Constitution.” 

While CITU General Secretary Tapan Sen said the coming together of workers and farmers has enthused the other sections of the society, Kisan Sabha Joint Secretary Vijoo Krishnan said the country is “not witnessing Gujarat model but 'Modani' (Modi-Adani) model of corporate loot.”

The organisers believe that the coming together of mass organisations and supporting each others cause would help in cornering the government ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

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Govt to face more agitations in coming months

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