ACTIVIST Anna Hazare, who has shot off several letters to the central government since the farmers’ protests started near Delhi borders, has reiterated his plan to start an agitation in the capital in January. In a statement issued to the press, Hazare said the problems faced by farmers will not end until they get a justified price for their produce.
“Farmers are forced to commit suicides because they don’t even get the invested money back through farming… Since the Union government has accepted the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission, it should accept the estimates sent by the state commissions and decide the Minimum Support Price by adding 50 per cent to the production cost, instead of cutting it down badly. If this is done, then farmers will get a fair price and won’t be compelled to end their lives,” wrote Hazare.
He also recounted the promises made to him by Union agriculture ministers and other representatives of the BJP-led government in the last three years.
“To push for these demands, I will resume the agitation in January 2021, as the promises made in the last three years have not been fulfilled. I have conveyed my decision to the Union government. In this regard, recently, former chairman of (Maharashtra) Legislative Council Haribhau Bagade and BJP MP Bhagwat Karad were sent to meet me by the Union Agriculture Minister. Similarly, former state minister Girish Mahajan has also held a discussion. My point of view is, enough talks have happened… now it’s time for action. Or else, I am determined about my plans,” read the statement by Hazare.
In March 2017, Hazare had staged a protest at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan seeking the appointment of a Lokpal and implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission. After seven days of the agitation, the then Union agriculture minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and then Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, among others, had met him and promised to resolve the issued raised by him.
After the government failed to act on its promises, Hazare started a fast in January 29, 2019, at Ralegan Siddhi. Representatives of the government met him again and promised to set up a high-level committee by inviting former agriculture ministers and representatives of various farmers’ unions, and present the committee’s report by October 2019. Hazare maintains that none of the promises have been fulfilled.