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Farmers’ organisations say 2-day sit-in not Anna Hazare show

The organisers emphasised that though Hazare was supposed to join their function, it was planned much ahead of his Jantar Mantar event.

Written by Abantika Ghosh | New Delhi |
Updated: February 24, 2015 7:53:43 am
Anna with Medha Patkar on the first day of his protest at Jantar Mantar on Monday.(Source: Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal) Anna with Medha Patkar on the first day of his protest at Jantar Mantar on Monday. (Source: Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

Even as Anna Hazare was back at Jantar Mantar with his rhetoric against the government, this time on land acquisition, a clutch of farmers’ organisations including office bearers of political parties – whom Hazare wanted to keep off the stage – came together to assert that their two-day sit-in from Tuesday is not a Hazare show.

“Our movement has no father figure and we do not agree with this statement that political parties cannot join. We can do with all the support we get. I have personally written to all political parties to oppose this draconian law,” declared CPI national secretary Atul Anjan, choosing not to name the man who was spewing fire less than a kilometre away. Though Hazare, it seems, has backtracked on his declaration after a meeting with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal will join the protest on Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, representatives of Ekta Parishad met Home Minister Rajnath Singh at his residence on Monday evening and were reportedly assured that the government would take a look at the demand for the Homestead Bill. Among the other issues flagged at the meeting were – the Land Reform Council headed by the PM that has never met, need for a land reform policy and the Foresh Rights’ Act. “Rajnathji told us that he will take the matter to the PMO,” said an Ekta Parishad office-bearer.

The two day sit-in at Parliament Street is being organised by more than 21 organisations including the National Alliance of People’s Movements, Ekta Parishad, All-India Kisan Sabha, Jan Pahal, Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan etc. The organisers emphasised that though Hazare was supposed to join their two-day function, it was planned much ahead of the social activist’s Jantar Mantar event.

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The joint sit in will happen at Parliament Street. The organisations also rebuffed overtures from RSS-affiliated farmers organistaion Rashtriya Kisan Sangh, saying that these are usual government tactics to sabotage movements.

“In any case there are divisions within that organisation. This is not about discussion but about warnings,” said Medha Patkar.

On Monday morning, as Hazare hogged television headlines, many Ekta Parishad insiders rued the fact that while they are yet to enter Delhi, in public perception Hazare has already launched the movement.

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