June 26, 2021 10:06:20 am
To mark seven months of their agitation at Delhi borders on June 26, the Samyuta Kisan Morcha have given a call to march towards Raj Bhawans across states to submit memorandums to respective Governors addressed to the President. The SKM has named the protest “Kheti Bachao, Loktantra Bachao Diwas”. The protest comes a day after the 46th anniversary of imposition of Emergency in the country.
“This is a countrywide call where memorandums addressed to President of India will be given via Governors of the respective states as farm laws are also no less than ‘Emergency’ in the country as they are all set to destroy the farm sector and small farmers of this agrarian country, “ said Jagmohan Singh Patiala, general secretary of BKU (Dakaunda).
A prominent member of the SKM, Yogendra Yadav, had on Thursday said that “the morcha now takes on the responsibility of saving agriculture, saving democracy”. He had termed it as the new slogan for SKM, which is spearheading the farmers’ movement against three contentious farm laws.
Yadav said, “June 26, in a sense, marks the next phase of the farmers’ movement. They are not only fighting to save agriculture but also struggling to take on the responsibility of fighting to save the democracy. This is a historical responsibility that now has to be shouldered by the farmers.”
He added: “The usual expression now is undeclared Emergency…we are being told that all this is normal, this is what democracy is, that freedom of media will be substantially curbed, special laws will be used, judicial independence is being undermined…We are being told that this is the normal democracy. This is why I find that present state is even more dangerous than the Emergency.”
On Friday, SKM leader Darshan Pal said that the memorandum will urge the President to intervene to protest farmers’ rights. In Punjab, all 32 farmer unions that are part of SKM, BKU (Ugrahan) and Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee will gather at Amb Sahib Gurdwara in Chandigarh on Friday and from there they will be march towards Raj Bhawan.
“Women farmers will also be marching towards Raj Bhawan in large numbers,” said Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, general secretary of BKU (Ugrahan).
“Unity of farmers has remained intact, despite many efforts from the BJP-RSS government to break it,” Dr Pal added.
Meanwhile, a rally in solidarity with protesting farmers is also being planned in Massachusetts, said Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president of BKU (Ugrahan).
SKM leaders also claimed that more farmers are being mobilised to strengthen the movement.
“Farmers in Punjab are also struggling against power cuts that are disrupting the paddy transplantation activity,” added Buta Singh Burjgill, president BKU (Dakaunda).
Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union (PKMU) Friday announced that they will start a three-day dharna in Patiala, CM Amarinder Singh’s hometown, from August 9 if the issues related to farm labourers are not resolved by then.
Lachman Singh Sewewala, general secretary of PKMU, said, “Our demands include waiver of outstanding power bills, land for landless labourers among others. Before the Patiala dharna, meetings will be done statewide from July 10-July 14, and district-level dharnas will be held from July 15-July 25 in Punjab against the Congress government. In addition to this, memorandums will be given to Congress MLAs, MPs and Cabinet ministers by staging dharnas outside their houses.”
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