Buoyed by the success of their brethren in Rajasthan, farmers in Haryana Tuesday held a well-attended rally here, which was attended by Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and peasants leader Amra Ram, who exhorted them to “force it (the BJP government in state) to accept the demand of farm loan waiver and profitable prices of crops”. Sarkar hailed Sikar’s farmers’ leader as “hero of not only Rajasthan but also of the entire country’s farmers”.
Farmer leaders sought similar relief as were given by Rajasthan’s BJP government after a two-week long struggle last month. The Rajasthan government has accepted many of their demands, including farm loan waiver up to Rs 50,000. In the first phase of agitation in Haryana, the farmers will undertake a “torchlight rally”in different parts of the state on October 30.
Amra Ram, who is chief of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), said, “We snatched our rights in Rajasthan after a 13-day-long agitation which included blocking highways for two days. Now, it’s the turn of Haryana. It’s a do-and-die battle for us for loan waiver and 50% profit over the cost input of crops.”
AIKS’s Haryana unit chief Master Sher Singh listed the demands of farmers, which included setting up of a board to waive loan of farmers and labourers, purchase of all crops by the government agencies, solution of stray cattle’s problem and punishment to those “who create terror in the name of Gau Raksha”.
Manik Sarkar addressed the farmers in English, which a farmer leader from Haryana, Inderjit Singh, translated in Hindi as well in local Haryanvi dialect. In a reference to Sikar farmers, the Tripura CM said, “It’s not only fight of farmers alone. The labourers , students and traders will also have to join hands with them. The farmers won the battle in Sikar only because other sections of the society also joined hands with them.” Targeting the BJP and RSS, the Communist leader said, “Like Britishers, they (BJP and RSS) also try to divide people in the name of caste and religion so that the working class don’t fight unitedly.”
Stay here for 15 days, farmers urge Sarkar
Before Sarkar went to address the farmers protest at Old Government College Ground, a group of local farmers met him and urged him to stay in the state for 15 days to oversee their agitation. Sarkar told them, “I will come here whenever you invite me.”