Madhya Pradesh which had ushered in the farm unrest in 2017 over issues like minimum support price and other demands have remained almost aloof to the farmers’ stir as of now. However, slowly and steadily, the farm bodies especially some young farm union leaders are uniting peasants against the new agriculture marketing laws, MSP guarantee and other issues.
As part of efforts, the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha is holding a mega show, Kisan Mahapanchayat, at the Saalichowka area of Gadarwada in the Narsinghpur district on October 28.
Besides expecting farmers in large numbers, the meeting is expecting the presence of nine members of the SKM committee, which is the frontal group leading the farm stir in the national capital and nearby States.
One of the members of the nine-member committee, Shiv Kumar Sharma ‘Kakkaji’ told News18.com that all the SKM committee members will be present at the event at Gadarwada. “We have held three such events at Sheopur, Rewa and Jabalpur already,” added Sharma, claiming the focus of the opposition are three agri-marketing laws and MSP guarantee.
“We are constantly galvanising farmers for the big fight due in 2024,” affirmed Kakkaji, the former Bharatiya Kisan Sangh State head, who hit the national limelight during the 2017 Madhya Pradesh farm stir in which five farmers were killed in police firing in Mandsaur district.
Asked why farmers in MP failed to exhibit anguish on farming issues that had rippled their counterparts in States like Punjab, Haryana and UP, Sharma claimed it’s more to do with geographical conditions. The unrest focused on New Delhi, Punjab and Haryana so were limited numbers of local farmers reached there.
However, whenever there is a marching call from there, MP farmers rise to the occasion and stage protest like which happened days ago in Rail Roko protest, claimed the senior farm union leader who had been oscillating between various farm bodies over the years.
He denied that farm leader Rakesh Tikait will be part of the October 28 event. Some young farm leaders claimed that the event has been rescheduled and Rakesh Tikait could well be a part of this event on October 28. “We are always up for the farming issues and we will be urging farmers of our party cell to take part in the upcoming event and oppose agri marketing laws,” Working President of MP Congress Kisan Morcha, Kedar Shankar Sirohi told News18.com.
“In the long run, agri-marketing laws are set to hamper farmers’ interest and we will continue our fight to get them repealed,” said Sirohi.
MP farmers have been complaining about fertiliser scarcity, non-payments of crop insurance and crop damages in monsoon and recently during unseasonal rains but there have not been any organised campaigns in the farming sector.
Meanwhile, farm leaders affirm that around a dozen youth are uniting farmers across the State through small gatherings and public meets. On Wednesday, Gaurav Baliyan Tikait, nephew of farm union leader Rakesh Tikait addressed a Kisan Panchayat in Gwalior which saw a sizable attendance. The event was organised by Bharatiya Kisan Union.
Last Sunday, Vijay Chaudhary, an agriculture graduate who had been part of farm stir addressed a meeting on farming issues at Khargone which had drawn a sizable crowd in the town. Youth participation in farming stir too has grown of late.
Unemployment has risen so youth are turning towards protests and agitations, a young farm union leader Subhas Pandey from Bada Entma village in Satna said.
Pandey who earlier worked in Chhattisgarh had returned to his village after the demise of his father a few years ago and engaged in local farming issues for the last four-five years besides handling his agricultural land.
It will be a significant event at Gadarwada on October 28, said Pandey, a science graduate who has a diploma in social work and is associated with Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh in the State.
Several members of these youth have been part of farm stir in the national capital and have been asked to retreat to their native places for uniting peasants on farming issues.
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