Farmers to hold rural India bandh on January 8

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 02, 2019 Published on November 30, 2019

This picture is used here for representational purpose only.

The decision was taken at a two-day national convention of All India Kisan Sangarsh Coordination Committee

Come January 8, life in Indian villages will come to a standstill with farmers across the country planning to observe a Grameen Bharat Bandh on that day to protest against anti-farmer policies of the Narendra Modi government.

The decision to observe the bandh was taken at a two-day national convention of All India Kisan Sangarsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), a coalition of over 250 farmer organisations from 25 States in the country, which concluded here on Saturday. As many as 800 delegates from more than 100 organisations participated in the third annual convention.

The protest will highlight the government’s failure on various fronts – in ensuring Minimum Support Prices at C2+50% for all crops, in providing freedom from indebtedness, in implementing effective crop insurance and disaster compensation in the face of drought, floods and unseasonal rains, in implementing Forest Rights Act – and on other burning issues faced by farmers at the State level.

Village level rallies

Elaborating on it further, AIKSCC national convenor V M Singh said all AIKSCC constituent farmer groups have agreed to participate in the protest. As per the plan, farmers will organise village level rallies between December 15 and 31 and will send letters listing their grievances to the President between January 1 and 5, before the January 8 bandh. "On that day, nothing will come to the cities from villages and villages will not accept anything coming from cities on January 8," Singh said.

Atul Anjan, CPI leader and an AIKSCC working committee member urged all youth and women organisations as well as trade unions to support the bandh call given by farmers saying that the protest is also against the economic policies of the present regime.

According to Yogendra Yadav, leader of Jai Kisan, it was for the first time that farmers in the country have come out with a manifesto, which calls upon Parliament to pass two bills -- one that protects farmers from indebtedness and second one that insists on farmers' right to guaranteed remunerative minimum support prices for all agricultural commodities.

Besides, the convention put forward a charter of demands to the Central government. The demands included increasing the number of guaranteed employment days under MGNREG scheme to 200 days per family, ensuring a monthly pension of Rs 5,000 above the age of 60, taking steps to address the issue of stray cattle destroying crops, reducing input costs by regulating industry prices or offering subsidy to farmers directly, stopping uprooting of tribal farmers in the name of afforestation and not allowing foreign direct investment in agriculture and food processing.

Published on November 30, 2019
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