All roads from Punjab led to Uttar Pradesh on Saturday with over 25,000 farmers from 33 unions starting their journey for Muzaffarnagar to attend a Kisan Mahapanchayat scheduled for Sunday. The SKM said that that this “mahapanchayat will be biggest held by farm unions in the past nine months” since the protest against Centre’s farm laws began.
“The ‘mahapanchayat’ will make the Yogi-Modi governments realize the power of farmers, farm labourers, and supporters of the farm movement,” the SKM said in a statement.
Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, general secretary of BKU (Ugrahan) said, “Our 123 vehicles have gone to Muzaffarnagar out of which 80 are big buses and the rest are vans and cars. Nearly 5,800 farmers including 1,050 women have left for the rally site…I am also part of this convoy. We will be staying at Kurukshetra during the night and will start for the rally venue Sunday early in the morning.”
The remaining 32 farmer unions of Punjab have also sent their vehicles towards Muzaffarnagar.
“Over 25,000 farmers have gone in hundreds of vehicles from Punjab to be part of this rally. Our fight is against farm laws and this time we are gathering in UP to send a message. People need to see the face of this anti-farmer BJP government,” said Jagmohan Singh Dakaunda, general secretary, BKU (Dakaunda).
Over 500 langars have been organised along the route to the rally site, and over 100 medical camps have been organised around the rally site for taking care of health of farmers, said Dr Darshan Pal, president of Krantikari Kisan Union and member of the SKM. There are 5,000 volunteers on duty to maintain discipline, he added.
Harinder Kaur Bindu, woman farmer leader of BKU (Ugrahan) who is also leading the morcha of BKU (Ugrahan) said, “Farmers in each state are fighting for their rights and Sunday’s rally will be a proof as how aware UP farmer is. Farm ordinances became laws a year back and it is surprising that farmers are not being heard at all.”
Meanwhile, it needs to be mentioned that a larger message of Sunday’s rally is to make people aware about ruling government as UP is also about to go for polls. Most farm union leaders protesting against farm laws will be part of Sunday’s mahapanchayat. The Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee (KMSC) has so far sent no jatha. But Sarwan Singh Pandher, KMSC general secretary said, “Our vehicles will be leaving for Singhi border on Sunday morning.”
PKU media in-charge Dharmender Malik said in Muzaffarnagar that hundreds of farmers have started arriving from different parts of the country. BKU general secretary Yudhvir Singh has also arrived, he said, adding other senior leaders, including Rakesh Tikait, will reach here tomorrow.
Tikait’s son Charan Singh Tikait said his father will not come home till the government withdraws the three farms laws.
Meanwhile, Muzaffarnagar district authorities have ordered closure of all wine shops in view of the ‘mahapanchayat’.