The Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh (RKM), an umbrella body of 185 farmers’ organisations across the country, appealed to the community on Monday to not vote for the BJP. The RKM also released a booklet, ‘Narendra Modi Kisan Virodhi’ (anti-farmers Narendra Modi), listing out the alleged failures of the National Democratic Alliance government on the agriculture front.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, a number of farmer leaders accused the Modi government of deceiving farmers and alleged that its actions over the past five years had been detrimental to the peasants.
“The main aim of this booklet is to mobilise the farmers and the youth on the issues of national and social importance like farm distress and unemployment in a non-political manner,” said Abhimanyu Kohar from Haryana.
Kohar claimed that the Modi government had not taken a single step to make farmers debt-free, saying it waived corporate loans worth Rs 2.72 lakh crore.
Shiv Kumar Kakkaji from Madhya Pradesh claimed that the ruling BJP government had taken 25 anti-farmers decisions, including non-implementation of the Swaminathan report that recommended giving better price for the farm produce.
Kakkaji said the Modi government had tried to amend the land acquisition act to “benefit the capitalists”.
“The BJP governments in different states have managed to bring the land acquisition act through a backdoor entry,” he said.
The legislation is currently with the select committee of the Parliament following protests from the Opposition over certain clauses of the bill.
Jagjit Singh Dallewal from Punjab said the online national agriculture market or e-NAM, soil health cards and the irrigation scheme had failed completely to provide any relief to the farmers.
Harpal Chaudhary from Uttar Pradesh highlighted the issues of sugarcane farmers in the state, saying dues of nearly Rs 22,000 crore were pending.
Basavraj Patil from Karnataka said the free trade agreements, which are negotiated with other countries and regional blocs, were having a serious impact on farmers.