Muzaffarnagar: The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), spearheading the anti-farm laws has given a call for a complete Bharat Bandh on September 27 during a Kisan Mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar on Sunday. Scores of protesting farmers from 300 different unions reached the Government Inter College (GIC) ground in Muzaffarnagar from across 15 states of the country including Punjab, Haryana, and Maharashtra.Also Read - Muzaffarnagar 'Kisan Mahapanchayat': 'Won't Leave Delhi borders Even if Our Graveyard is Made There', Vows Rakesh Tikait
The Kisan Mahapanchayat is a massive show of strength of farmer unity against the three contentious farm laws. “They (the Centre) said only a handful of farmers are protesting. Let them see what a handful this is today. Let us raise our voices so it reaches the ears of those sitting in Parliament,” the speakers said. He added that the farmer leaders said that the Mahapanchayat will also prove that the agitation has the support of all castes, religions, states, classes, small traders, and all sections of the society. Also Read - Breaking News Highlights: Kerala Records 26,701 Fresh COVID-19 Cases, 74 Deaths Take Toll to 21,496
The SKM said in a statement, “The Mahapanchayat today will make the Modi and Yogi governments realise the power of farmers, farm labourers, and supporters of the farm movement. The Muzaffarnagar Mahapanchayat will be the biggest ever in the last nine months.” The farmer’s leader said that they would campaign against the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Assembly elections in 2022 if the governments did not accept their demands. The farmers threatened to continue their movement till 2024 when Lok Sabha elections are due. Also Read - Kisan Mahapanchayat in UP's Muzaffarnagar: Thousands of Farmers From 15 States to Protest Today | Top Points
They further said that efforts would now be made to strengthen the movement and ensure that farmers have their own government — one that caters to their interests. The Bharatiya Kisan Union(BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait told the reporters, “This is the strength of farmers and how long will the governments continue to deny us our rights. The farmers have come from several states on their own and they are not here for any political party.”
Tikait accused that India is being put up for sale and national assets are being sold out to the private sector. He said that the next meeting would be held in Lucknow in support of the cane farmers. The Rashtriya Lok Dal had a marked political presence at the Mahapanchayat. The district administration had denied permission to the RLD to shower flower petals on the participants.
Rashtriya Lok Dal president Jayant Chaudhary tweeted that the administration did not give permission to shower flower petals from a helicopter over the gathering. “Wearing a lot of garlands. The people have given me a lot of love and respect. We wanted to salute and welcome the people by showering flowers on them. DM, ADG, City Magistrate, Principal Secretary. CM — everyone was informed, but they are not giving permission! What is the danger to the government with respect to farmers?” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, 32 farmer unions from Punjab demanded that the state government withdraw cases against protestors by September 8. If the cases are not withdrawn, the farmers will hold a bigger protest, the unions said.
Around 32 farmer unions evoked a massive response from farmers and their supporters and the sprawling GIC ground was packed to capacity since morning and large crowds were seen on the roads leading to the venue. The presence of a large number of women, many of whom were addressed for the gathering was significant. Thousands of farmers have been protesting at the borders of Delhi for the past nine months seeking the repeal of the three contentious farm laws which they apprehend will do away with the MSP system. The Centre has so far held over 10 rounds of talks with the farmer unions to allay their concerns with no major breakthrough.
(With Inputs From IANS)