Farmers stage show of strength ahead of Winter Session

Farmers stage show of strength in Mumbai ahead of Parliament's Winter Session

Farmers reiterated their demands for MSP law, amendments to labour codes, reduction in fuel prices, among others

Farmer leaders at a kisan mahapanchayat in Mumbai on Sunday. Credit: PTI Photo

A day before the Parliament session begins, farmers staged a show of strength in India’s financial capital of Mumbai and called for the defeat of BJP in the forthcoming Assembly elections in five states. They also urged people to defeat the BJP in the coming statewide local body elections in Maharashtra.

At a massive 'Kisan Mazdoor Mahapanchayat' held at Azad Maidan in Mumbai, leaders hailed the "historic farmers' victory" in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement to repeal the three farm laws, and vowed to fight for their remaining demands.

The 'mahapanchayat' was addressed by Samyukt Kisan Morcha leaders Rakesh Tikait, Dr Darshan Pal, Hannan Mollah, Yudhvir Singh, Tajinder Singh Virk, Atul Kumar Anjaan, Rajaram Singh, Yogendra Yadav, Jasbir Kaur Nat, Ashish Mittal, Dr Ashok Dhawale, B Venkat, Medha Patkar, Jayant Patil, Pratibha Shinde, Narasayya Adam, JP Gavit, Dr Ajit Nawale and other farmers' and labour leaders.

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“The mahapanchayat also called for the defeat of the BJP in all the coming state assembly elections and in the coming statewide local body elections in Maharashtra,” said Dr Ashok Dhawale, the leader of Samyukta Shetkari Kamgar Morcha (SSKM), one of the bodies spearheading the farmers' movement. 

Dr Dhawale, the President of All India Kisan Sabha, said, “Farmers celebrated the historic victory over the BJP-RSS government of the year-long farmers struggle in getting the farm laws repealed, and also declared its determination to fight for the remaining demands.”

He said that these demands pertain to a law that would guarantee minimum support price (MSP) for crops, withdrawal of the Electricity Amendment Bill, removal of Ajay Mishra Teni from the Cabinet and his arrest over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, repeal of the four labour codes, end to selling off the country through privatisation, halving the price of diesel, petrol, cooking gas and other essential commodities, doubling the days of work and wages under MNREGA, and extending it to urban areas. 

Tikait demanded that the Centre bring in an MSP guarantee law to protect farmers' interests in the country. “Prime Minister Modi was a supporter of MSP when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat and wanted a nationwide law to ensure farmers' interests are guaranteed,” he said.

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