The protests against the three central agri laws got a major boost Thursday with 427 farm outfits from across the country extending support to “Delhi Chalo” call by All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) under which agitating farmers will reach the National Capital on November 26-27 to press the central government to scrap the contentious legislations.
The AIKSCC, Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh and various factions of Bharatiya Kisan Union have joined hands and formed a ‘Samyukta Kisan Morcha’, which held a meeting in Chandigarh in connection with the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march.
It also formed a seven-member committee to coordinate the operations of the ‘morcha’. The members include Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) president Balbir Singh Rajewal, AIKSCC convenor VM Singh, Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathana president Raju Shetty (represented by Hannan Mullah), Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh president Shivkumar Kakaji, BKU (Ekta Sidhupur) Jagjit Singh Dallewal, BKU Haryana president Gurnam Singh Chaduni and Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav.
Addressing the media here, Yadav said they have divided the Delhi Chalo agitation in two parts. Farmers from states in periphery of Delhi, including Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, will reach the National capital Delhi on their tractor-trolleys on November 26 and 27 through five highways — Amritsar-Delhi national highway (Kundli border), Hisar-Delhi highway (Bahadurgarh), Jaipur-Delhi highway (Dharuhera), Bareilly-Delhi highway (Hapur) and Agra-Delhi highway (Ballabhgarh).
The farmers from other states would hold protests in their respective states at district and village level.
“Farmers will demand in one voice that the farm laws should be scrapped. Proposed electricity law should be immediately withdrawn. We hope farmers will be allowed to raise their voice in the national capital. If they are not allowed (to enter Delhi), then we have decided that wherever we’ll be stopped, we will sit there and launch a protest for an indefinite period,” he said.
Mullah said if the government stops the farmers from entering Delhi citing Covid-19, they would lay siege to the highways leading to Delhi. “We will sit on an indefinite dharna at the border of states lining Delhi,” he said. He said the government had passed the farm laws amid Covid-19 and now it was trying to stop the farmers from holding an agitation in Delhi citing the pandemic. Mullah was referring to a ban by Delhi police on protests and dharnas in the capital due to the second wave of pandemic.
Dallewal and Rajewal said a record number of farmers from Punjab would participate in the Delhi Chalo protest this time. They said farmers will be carrying ration supplies to sustain three-month long agitation.
Chaduni said the farmers would leave no stone unturned to make the protest march a success. He said they have already secured support from the khap panchayats in Haryana.
The protest call for November 26 and 27 was earlier given by AIKSCC, a body of more than 200 farmers’ organisations across the country. The coordination committee of 30 farmer organizations of Punjab on Wednesday had announced to participate in this programme.
Lashing out at the Centre for “imposing economic blockade” on Punjab, Yadav demanded the government to resume goods trains in the state.
Replying to a question, Rajewal said if the Centre invites them for talks, they will go but will not withdraw their ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest call.
“The only demand of this united peasant front is that the three anti-farmer laws and proposed electricity laws by the central government should be immediately repealed and farmers be kept out of the pollution law of NCR. These laws are not made for the farmers but to serve the interests of the corporates,” said Dr Darshan Pal, president, Krantikari Kisan Union.
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