NEW DELHI—Several pollical parties including the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party have extended their support to more than 100 kisan unions all over the country who have announced ‘bharat bandh’ on Friday in protest against the three farm-related bills passed by the Narendra Modi government that brings an end to the purchase of farm produce at the minimum support price (MSP). Several trade and labour unions have also extended their support to the farmers agitation as one of the bills also abolishes the limit on hoarding of cereals and other agricultural products that will result into price rise, thus affecting the common consumers.
Jamaat-e-Islami supports farmers’ demands
Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has also supported the demand of the farmers as it feels that the three bills passed by the NDA government are against the interest of the farmers and agricultural labourers. The Jamaat has already demanded that the government should either amend the bills or bring a separate bill to ensure that farm produce is purchased at MSP only so that farmers do not suffer at the hands of the big businesses and traders. JIH vice-president Engineer Mohammad Salim said, “The Jamaat supports the genuine demands of the farmers like ensuring purchase of the farm produce at MSP only whether inside the ‘mandis’ or outside it”.
BKU’s Rakesh Tikait announces “chakka jam” till farmers’ demands are met
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Rakesh Tikait said that the farmers all over the country would organize “chakka jam” and prevent movement of road and rail traffic in support of their demands. In a tweet, he said that “the agitation will continue against the central government till it comes out with a law that guarantees purchase of farm produce at MSP”. Tikait on Wednesday met UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow and discussed with him the problems of UP farmers including payment of sugarcane, land acquisition and increase in power tariff.
Other farmers organisations that have announced to participate in the ‘bharat bandh’ include All India Farmers Union (AIFU), All India Kisan Sangarhsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) and All India Kisan Mahasangh (AIKM).
National Trade Union Congress, All India Trade Union Congress, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Centre of Indian Trade Union Congress, All India Trade Union Centre and Trade Union Coordination Centre have also declared their support to the ‘bharat bandh’ on September 25.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) led by Sukhbir Singh Badal, which an NDA ally at the centre, has also announced to organize ‘chakka jam’ in support of the farmers demand. Sukhbir’s wife, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who was a minister in Modi government, resigned from her portfolio a week after farmers in Punjab gheraoed her house in their native village of Badal for more than a week. SAD had supported the passage of the bill in the Parliament. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (Punjab unit) president Abdul Shakoor said that his organization has been supporting the farmers in their demand for MSP purchase in the interest of farmers. “We are with farmers and appeal the government to ensure that MSP is not abolished”, he said.
Congress supports bandh
Congress and Aam Aadmi Party has also extended their support to ‘bharat bandh’. Addressing mediapersons at the AICC headquarters, Rajy Sabha member Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the three farm-related bills passed by the NDA government had clearly rejected the MSP though Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been saying that purchase of farm produce would be done at MSP only.
“If farmers have friends like Modi, they don’t require enemies”, Singh said in a satirical way. He said that in Parliament, Congress and other Opposition parties requested the government the government to add MSP in the bills but the government did not pay any heed.
Delhi Congress to take out Rajghat to Raj Bhawan march on September 28
Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president Chaudhary Anil Kumar said that his party in Delhi would take out a march from Rajghat to Raj Bhawan on September 28 and burn effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in each assembly constituency on October 2. On October 10, a big kisan sammelan would be held on October 10 in the national capital in support of farmers demands.