The Modi government should waive loans of farmers to ameliorate their sufferings as it has done for corporates, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury told a peasants’ rally at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Thursday. Slamming the Modi government on the demonetisation issue, Yechury said it is saving the “looters” while “punishing” the poor as “more than 74” people have died in queues outside banks and ATMs.
Watch: Farmers Queue Outside Govt Seed Store After It Starts Accepting Rs 500 Notes
“In the last two years, the government waived loans of Rs 1.2 lakh crore taken by the capitalists but it is reluctant to waive loans of farmers. Loans of farmers should also be waived by the government,” he told the rally organised by the All India Kisan Sabha, the peasant wing of CPI(M). Citing poor condition of the peasantry in the country, he said the Modi government is “making poor people poorer while helping rich to become richer”.
“The government says that it has taught lesson to Pakistan but our jawans are being killed on the border. Farmers are committing suicide. Under the Modi government, the rate of farmer suicides has increased by 26 per cent,” he said. Yechury said the opposition parties would continue to corner the government in Parliament on the issue of demonetisation and other anti-farmer and anti-worker policies.
“We will continue cornering the government in Parliament and you will have to do so outside Parliament,” he told the farmers. Citing the problems being faced by farmers due to demonetisation, he said they were being forced to sell their crop at mandis at “lower” prices. Yechury promised to raise the 15 demands of AIKS in Parliament and demand its fulfillment by the government.
The rally was also addressed by many AIKS leaders including its president Amra Ram, general secretary Hannan Mollah and social activist Medha Patkar. The AIKS memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister demanded Rs 10 lakh compensation to kin of farmers who had committed suicide, implementation of the 2013 Land Acquisition Act, raise in minimum support price, proper implementation of rural job scheme MGNREGA, and interest-free loans to small and marginal farmers.