June 20th, 2017
Farmers across India have been appealing to the government for loan waivers in the wake of their heavy debts and continuing droughts in many parts of the country. What started with the Tamil Nadu farmers’ naked protests and skull marches, has led to six farmers being killed during protests in Madhya Pradesh and protesters spilling tankers of milk on the streets in Maharashtra.
Amidst the growing hostility, as many as 130 farmers’ associations came under a single banner on Friday and announced a countrywide agitation from July 6.
The protest will start from Mandsaur and culminate in Champaran in Bihar. Under the banner of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSS), the farmers will commence the ‘yatra’ on July 6 in the form of a march to arrive in Champaran (where Gandhiji started his first Satyagraha) on October 2.
The working committee comprises of Raju Shetty, Member of Parliament from Maharashtra, Hannan Mollah, General Secretary of All India Kisan Sabha (the peasant wing of Communist Party of India-Marxist), and P Ayyakannu, who had led the Tamil Nadu farmers during the 40-day agitation at Jantar Mantar.
While addressing the media, Yogendra Yadav, chief of the Swaraj Abhiyan and also a member of the Kisan Committee stressed the importance of the union of so many farmer bodies under one umbrella organisation.
After v.long time, so many farmer unions have come under 1 roof 2 bcm part of unified mvmnt 2 demand their rights.https://t.co/jXDry2LQNK
— Yogendra Yadav (@_YogendraYadav) June 18, 2017
The aim of the nationwide march is to commemorate the one-month completion of the Mandsaur firing incident and to educate, unite and organise the farmers during the March.
The committee has decided to raise two issues with the Central government – assurance of Minimum Support Price (MSP), as recommended by the MS Swaminathan panel in its report, and waiver of all farm debts.
Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a form of market intervention by the Government of India to ensure agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices. MSP is price fixed by the Government of India to protect the producer (farmers) against excessive fall in price during bumper production years.
Farmer leaders from Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab are supposed to take part in the July 6 march.
V.M. Singh, the National President of Rashtriya Kisan-Mazdoor Party, has been appointed the convenor of the working committee of the newly formed body.