The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) has decided to hold a roundtable conference with political parties on farmers’ issues such as complete loan waiver and fair and remunerative prices (FRP), in New Delhi on Wednesday.
AIKSCC is an umbrella body of 150 farmers’ organisations from across the country and has been instrumental in garnering support for the ongoing farm distress in the country. The organisation has drafted Kisan Mukti Bills, encompassing the two major demands of farmers — complete loan waiver to farmers and FRP for crops.
Swabhimani Paksha MP Raju Shetti said the draft bills, which have been in the public domain for a while, were sent to all the political parties, including the ruling BJP. A discussion on the recommendations in the bills will be held with the political parties on Wednesday. ‘Kisan yatras’ had also been conducted across the country to raise awareness about the agrarian distress and take suggestions from farmers on the course of action.
Shetti added that they have been meeting political leaders across the spectrum to garner support for the bills.
“We have already met leaders such as Sharad Pawar, Sharad Yadav and Rahul Gandhi, among others, to discuss the bills. Before I move the private member’s bills in the first week of April, we want to gauge the political mood and support for the same,” he said.
The broader objective of the movement, the two-term MP from Kolhapur district said, was to consolidate and create a vote bank of farmers. Until and unless, the farmers become a vote bank, Shetti said, their issues will not be highlighted and they will not get justice. Shetti, too, was a part of the NDA but had left the alliance last year, citing the “non-sympathetic attitude of the ruling alliance towards agrarian distress”.
Asked if he, or the AIKSCC, would support the BJP if they agreed to their demand, Shetti was ambivalent. “The BJP had agreed on implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee but later had gone back on its word. Thus, we will find it difficult to believe them,” he said.