Farmers across the country organized a countrywide Outrage program on 16 May against the Modi government’s indifference towards them. Various farmers’ organizations honored farmers on Kisan Samman Diwas held in response to the call given by the AIKSCC. Farmers will organize countrywide protests on 27 May in support of their demands.
Programs on this occasion were organized under the banner of the All India Kisan Mahasabha in various States including Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. Kisan Mahasabha leaders including Comrades Ruldu Singh, Prem Singh Gehlawat, Shivsagar Sharma, Phoolchand Dhewa, Purushottam Sharma and others participated in the programs at different places. Farmers were honored as Corona Volunteers at many places. Kisan Mahasabha and Street Vendors’ Union honored health workers as Corona volunteers who are ignored and neglected by the government. AIKM National General Secretary Rajaram Singh said that the failure of the government to alleviate the crisis caused to farmers, agrarian workers and migrant workers through the unplanned Lockdown is a matter of grave concern.
AIKSCC repeated its demand for complete loan waivers for all farmers; new loans through KCC without delay for the crop sowing season; diesel price to be lowered to Rs 22 per liter; 200 days’ work and Rs 500 MNREGA wage; safe return home of all migrant workers with food, employment and full salary.
AIKSCC appealed to all farmers to observe 27 May as national protest day and press their demands: crop loss compensation and full compensation for crops left unsold or left to rot; Rs 10,000 Covid/Lockdown Allowance; PM Kisan Sahyog amount to be raised to Rs 18,000; free seeds and fertilizers; procurement price of 1 ½ times outlay price for all crops as well as milk, eggs, honey etc.; guarantee of governmental procurement of crops; proper and equal compensation for all sharecroppers and farmers; health care and other facilities for all.
Betrayal of Farmers under the guise of Relief Package
CPIML politburo member Kunal said a relief package does not mean ‘debt package’. Farmers, already steeped in debt, do not require further loans but loan waivers, proper procurement price for their crops and proper crop loss compensation. This is a cruel joke on the farmers who have lost everything due to the Lockdown. Instead of protecting the farmers in this crisis, the government has thrown them to the mercies of the market. Clearly, the government has left the farmers to starve or die, as they have left the migrant workers. The worst affected are small farmers and sharecroppers. Payment for sugar cane and other crops is not being made in Bihar as well as other States in the country. The government has also ignored the demand for reducing electricity rates for agricultural use.