More than one lakh farmers started a mega protest march on Thursday from Brijwasan on the outskirts of Delhi to Ramlila grounds, demanding special parliament session to discuss the agrarian crisis. The two-day 'Kisan Mukti March' has been organized by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC).
Tomorrow the farmers plan to protest near parliament, demanding the passing of bills for higher minimum support price (MSP) of grains. Farmers also want complete relief from farm loan debt. Protesting farmers allege that the Centre has "failed to address the farm crisis."
Swaraj Abhiyan leader, Yogendra Yadav, is leading the march in Delhi. Earlier today he tweeted, "Women farmers greet us this morning from Brijwasan as they are all set to embark on Kisan Mukti March. Join us even if you are not a farmer. Join the hands that toil to feed us."
Good Morning friends— Yogendra Yadav (@_YogendraYadav) November 29, 2018
Women farmers greet us this morning from Brijwasan as they are all set to embark on #KisanMuktiMarch
Join us even if you are not a farmer. Join the hands that toil to feed us.
Jai Kisan! https://t.co/dAztUqALWy
The 25-km march, starting from Brijwasan, will pass through Majnu Ka Tila, Nizamuddin and Anand Vihar, said the AIKSCC. Singers, writers and poets are expected to participate in a cultural programme 'Ek Sham Kisan Ke Naam', dedicated to farmers in the evening.
"On November 30, the farmers will start their march from Ramlila ground to Parliament. At Parliament Street, farmer leaders will speak on agrarian issues and also leaders of different political parties barring the BJP will address the gathering," said CPM leader Hannan Mollah, who is also the convener of the AIKSCC.
Leaders of opposition parties including Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and West Bengal have been invited for two-day meet, said Atul Anjan, national secretary of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS). He said that the Narendra Modi government must come clean on what measures have been taken to give relief to farmers.
Mr Anjan said, in June 2017, after the massive farmers protest in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, two private members bills - The Farmers Freedom from Indebtedness Bill and The Farmers' Right to Guaranteed Remunerative MSP - were drafted but they are languishing for over a year.
"The bills were prepared after a series of discussion on farmers issues during the Kisan Mukti Sansad, which was held in November last year," said Mr Mollah. He added that Left lawmaker KK Ragesh, had introduced the bills in Rajya Sabha but it has gone into the cold storage. The AIKSCC the two key bills must be adopted in the special session of Parliament.
Last week farmers in Maharashtra took out a protest march from Thane to Azad Maidan in Mumbai, demanding assurance of higher MSP and implementation of the Swaminathan Committee recommendations, which said, farmers who have been tilling the land should get ownership rights among other suggestions.