Amra Ram along with the Chief Minister of Left-ruled Tripura, Manik Sarkar, will be in Haryana’s Hisar district on Tuesday to address a farmers’ rally being organised to push for a farm loan waiver and better crop prices.
Amra Ram, the chief of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) who led the farmers’ stir in Sikar recently, said Sarkar was coming to boost the morale of farmers before their protest in Haryana.
“Farmers have been the worst hit by the policies of the Modi government at the Centre. The BJP government came to power on the promise of 50 per cent profit over the cost input of crops, but now the farmers feel cheated. They don’t have an option, but to struggle,” said Amra Ram, a former legislator from Rajasthan who recently led a successful farmers’ protest in the state, which like Haryana is BJP-ruled.
“The farmers’ question is simple. When the government can waive off loan of corporate sector amounting to Rs 8 lakh crore, then what’s the problem in waiving off Rs 6 lakh crore debt of farmers? If governments are serious about the welfare of citizens then they have to look after the interests of farmers as around 60-70 per cent of the Indian population directly or indirectly depends on the agriculture sector,” he added.
Amra Ram also said the strategy for the coming protest would be finalised during the four-day conference of the AIKS. The protest will start on October 3 in Hisar along with the conference.
“As many as 800 delegates, including some top level economists and farm scientists from across the country, will attend it. They will undertake a serious analysis of the fast deteriorating agrarian scenario that is resulting in rising anger among the distressed peasantry,” he added.
Senior government functionaries in Haryana, meanwhile, are keeping a close watch on the developments in the run- up to the farmers’ stir.
A senior official told The Indian Express that the rally in Haryana is being held soon after a recent stir in Rajasthan and Punjab. “The farmers’ organisations have also announced gherao of Delhi on February 23 next year, so we have to be alert,” said the official.
A farmer leader from Haryana, Dayanand Poonia, said: “Haryana farmers are feeling encouraged with the recent victory of peasants in Rajasthan after their the two-week agitation. The Rajasthan government accepted major demands, including a farm loan waiver of up to Rs 50,000, waiving off of interest on the loans, lifting of restriction on cattle trade, procurement guarantee for ground nut, pulses and onion and Rs 2,000 monthly pension for old age farmers and agriculture workers.”
Meanwhile, the organisers have planned a traditional folk narration of farmers’ plight through Ahla recitation, a popular folk song form in Haryana, and also Been ka Lahra, the music of snake charmers.