Farmers in seven states have announced a 10-day strike, starting 1 June. The farmers, under the banner of the Rashtriya Kisan Maha Sangh, are protesting to demand loan waivers and implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee recommendations.
- Farmers have called a 10-day strike in Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala
- Daily supplies such as milk and vegetables are likely to be hit over the course of the strike
Protests Remain Peaceful, But Vegetable Prices Move North
As their agitation entered the third day on Sunday, 3 June, farmers in many states dumped their produce on roads as a mark of protest while vegetable prices rose in several urban areas.
The stir, however, remained peaceful even as political rivals targeted the BJP-ruled Centre over the stir. Madhya Pradesh remained largely calm on the third day of the 10-day agitation by farmers demanding remunerative prices for their produce and waiver of farm loans.
BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha, former union finance minister Yashwant Sinha, and ex-VHP leader Praveen Togadia are likely to join the stir in Mandsaur, the epicentre of last year's agitation in which six people were killed in police firing, on June 8.
Long-Lasting Solution to Farmers' Issues Soon: Javadekar
On a day Congress president Rahul Gandhi threw his weight behind the farmers protesting nationwide, Union minister and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar on Saturday, 2 June, said the agitation will stop once his government announces the support prices for crops.
“They will get to understand when the prices will be declared. The agitation will stop then,” said the Union Minister for Human Resource Development. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said Narendra Modi government's plan was to provide a “long-lasting” solution to the issue.
“I will not try to comment. I don't want to subscribe (to) motives now for farmers' agitation. People are seeing it and people are responding to it,” Javadekar told reporters at the Press Club in New Delhi when asked if he sensed any political agenda in the 10-day protests.
Rahul to Address Farmers in Mandsaur on 6 June
Congress president Rahul Gandhi will address a farmer's rally in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, on 6 June – the day seven farmers had died in a police firing last year.
Gandhi threw his weight behind the farmers' protest to observe the anniversary of the Mandsaur firing.
In a statement, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Modi government's uncaring, unfeeling, insensitive, apathetic and thick-skinned attitude to the issues raised by 62 percent of India's population – farmers – has precipitated into a nationwide protest by our ‘Annadata.’”
The protest by farmers is a direct affirmation of the ‘Kisan Virodhi’ policies of Narendra Modi. While Mandsaur shooting is the symbol, farmers across India are protesting against widespread rural indebtedness, non-remunerative prices and complete apathy of the Modi government.Randeep Singh Surjewala
He also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Madhya Pradesh government of trying to suppress the protests by using illegal means in sheer desperation.
“It (state government) is panic stricken, as it even forced the farmers to sign ‘peace bonds' before the protest. Now the MP police has especially bought 17,000 new battens to take care of the protest,” he said in the statement.
“Farmers have announced that they will not sell their produce in Mandis in cities. They are demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report to avail cost+50 percent MSP as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They are also demanding a complete loan waiver,” he added.
(With inputs from IANS)
Farmers Continue Protest, Amarinder Flays Centre
Farmers continued their protests against the policies of the Central government towards them and dumped agriculture produce and milk on the roads at several places in Punjab and Haryana on Saturday, 2 June. They did not allow other farmers to carry vegetables and milk towards urban areas.
The farmers, under the banner of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), started a 10-day protest on Friday, 1 June, in seven states, imposing a blockade on movement of agriculture produce and milk from rural areas to urban centres. The farmers' organisations are demanding immediate implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report on farming, giving minimum support price to farmers for their produce, waiving loans and helping them make agriculture cost effective.
BKU president Balbir Singh Rajewal said farmers were forced to start the protest as the Central government was not helping the farming community at all.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh described the ongoing protest by farmers as a sign of their desperation in the face of the wrongs being perpetrated on them by the Central government.
Speaking to the media at the Haryana Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh after the swearing-in of the new Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Amarinder Singh said the farming community in the country was in the grip of a serious crisis due to the indifferent attitude of the BJP-led Central government.
The government has failed to provide any succour to the beleaguered farmers, who are unable to make both ends meet due to its antagonistic policies. Despite repeated pleas by Punjab and other state governments, the Centre has failed to come to the rescue of the farming community.Amarinder Singh
According to The New Indian Express, within 71 days of the newly-formed Congress government’s reign in Punjab, nearly 45 farmers have committed suicide and the trend seems to continue.
“Farmers are committing suicide due to their mounting debt burdens as agriculture is no longer financially viable for them in view of the inadequate MSP. The in toto implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report is the only long-term solution to the agrarian crisis in the country,” he added.
(With inputs from IANS)
Farmers Protesting for Media Attention: Agriculture Minister
Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Saturday, 2 June, said some farmers have been staging protests just for the sake of media attention.
Speakig to mediapersons, Singh said:
There are crores of farmers in the country but only a few farmers have been staging protest. It has no relevance at all.
Singh's remarks came in response to a query on the going protests by thousands of farmers in Madhya Pradesh and elsewhere over low support price for their products, among others.
Singh reportedly surprised one and all when he said that farmers were committing suicide just for media coverage. He further claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Madhya Pradesh was pro-farmer and had been doing a lot in the interest of farmers.
The 10-day protests that started on1 June coincide with the farmers' agitation in Mandsaur of Madhya Pradesh last year, when seven farmers had died in a police firing on 6 June.
Mandsaur Farmers Serve Kheer to Villagers
Farmers in Mandsaur, MP, who have gone on the 10-day 'Kisan Avkash' strike prepared Kheer and distributed it among villagers. The farmers continued to maintain that during the ten-day strike, they are not supplying vegetables, fruits, grains and milk to cities.
There Are No Protests, Farmers Are Happy with CM's Schemes: MP Agriculture Minister
Just hours after farmers in Ludhiana took to dumping vegetables on the streets in protest, Madhya Pradesh Minister for Agriculture Balkrishna Patidar said that there were no protests. He added that the farmers in the state were happy with the chief minister’s schemes for farmers.
Its 2 June today, where is the strike happening? No farmers are participating in the strike. Farmers are happy with the schemes Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan has launched for them.They have faith that the state & central govt will solve their problemsBalkrishna Patidar, Minister for Agriculture, Madhya Pradesh
Farmers Have No Issues, They're Focusing on Unnecessary Things: Haryana CM Khattar
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, in response to the farmers’ protest, said that the farmers were “focusing on unnecessary things” and that “they don't have any issues.”
Farmers Continue Protest on Day 2; Vendors Lament Price Rise
Farmers continued their protest on the second day of the 'Kisan Avkash’, dumping vegetables on the streets, ANI reported. Meanwhile, in the capital, vegetable vendors have said that prices have risen sharply on account of the protest.
Farmers Dump Vegetables on Road in Punjab
Balbir Singh Rajewal, president, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), claimed good response from farmers in Punjab.
"Farmers have stopped bringing vegetables, milk and other items to the cities for sale," he told PTI.
At some places in Punjab, farmers dumped vegetables and milk on road as a mark of protest.
AIKS Holds Protests Across Maharashtra
The Left-affiliated All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) today held protests across Maharashtra, accusing the BJP government of not keeping the promises it had made to farmers last month. Farmers' organisations also called for a 10-day agitation to protest the state government's apathy towards farmers.
"Protests were held in 23 districts in Maharashtra today," AIKS general secretary Ajit Navle told PTI.
The AIKS had led a march of thousands of farmers from Nashik in north Maharashtra to Mumbai earlier this year to press demands such as complete and unconditional loan waiver and transfer of forest land rights to tribals.
Centre to Take up Protesting Farmers' Issue With States
Amid ongoing farmers' protest in several states, Agriculture Secretary S K Pattanayak on Friday said many of their issues are local in nature and the Centre will take it up with respective state governments.
Asked about the ongoing protest by PTI, Pattanayak said, "Many issues are local in nature, which need to be tackled locally. We will take it up with the respective state governments."
He said that his ministry will definitely look into the issues which required to be addressed by the central government.
No Untoward Incident: Mandsaur SP
The Mandsaur SP said no untoward incident was reported in the district so far.
"Five companies of the Special Armed Force (SAF) of MP police are keeping a vigil across the district," he said.
Farmers To Announce Bharat Bandh on 10 June: Farmers' Body
Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh (RKMM) convenor Shivkumar Sharma told reporters in Bhopal that the "Gaon Band' stir is being held across 22 states.
"The cultivators have been asked not to come to the markets in urban areas to sell their farm produce, including milk," Sharma added.
On the last day of the protest on June 10, the farmers' bodies will orgainse 'Bharat Bandh', he said.
Government Not Addressing Farmers Issues: Ashok Gehlot
Senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot slammed the government on Twitter for “not taking any steps to address the grievances of poor farmers.”
Ludhiana Farmers Spill Milk on Roads
Supplies Not Affected at Mumbai & Pune Markets
Markets in Mumbai and Pune have reportedly received supplies as per normal, despite earlier reports suggesting that the agitating farmers would reportedly not sell their supplies to markets and other wholesale dealers over the course of their strike, thereby cutting off supply to bigger cities.
According to the The Indian Express, the farmers’ strike has garnered a “lukewarm” reception in Maharashtra.
Farmers Launch 10-Day Strike
Farmers from over 125 units affiliated to the RKMS have called for a ten-day strike, starting 1 June, reported India Today.
The farmers will go on strike across Haryana, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala.
However, several other farmers’ confederations who are not part of the strike reportedly told Business Standard that the impact would likely be partial.