ROHTAK: The brewing discontent among Indian farmers against the government policies is about to spill on roads as the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) has threatened to launch a major offensive by blocking all national highways to cut off Delhi from other states on March 9.
The BKU is angry over the continuous neglect of farming sector by the Centre and state governments and policies which have proved disastrous for the economic condition of farmers. The farmers have been opposing the acquisition of fertile land and demanding implementation of recommendations of Swaminathan committee report.
Farmers have planned road blockages on seven national highways including Delhi-Rohtak (NH 10) near Asaudha village in Jhajjar district, Delhi-Chandigarh (NH1) near Rai village in Sonipat, Delhi-Jaipur (NH8) near Gurgaon, Delhi-Palwal highway (NH2), Delhi-Saharanpur (NH58) near Mundola village in UP, Delhi-Ghaziabad (NH24) and Delhi-Noida highway.
The Haryana BKU chief Gurnam Singh told The Times of India, “The centre and state governments have been framing anti-farmer policies. They have ruined the agriculture economy. We are prepared for a prolonged fight with the government on our demands,” the farmer leader threatened. He said that their blockade would continue until the government called them for a high level meeting to discuss their demands.
Listing out their demands, Singh maintained that the government should not acquire fertile land for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and industrial projects and the land for the roads or other essential services must be acquired at a 50 percent premium from the prevailing market rates. “The MSP of the agriculture produce must be fixed as per the recommendations of the Swaminathan committee report. The farmers must be given medical facilities at par with the government employees. There should be separate budget for the agriculture like the railway budget and all kinds of loans on farmers should be waived off.”
The BKU leader said that it was unfortunate that the agriculture budget in the tenth five year plan had been cut down to below 10%. “The indiscrimination in land acquisition has pushed the farmers to a corner. The farmers are hardly getting any technical or other support from the government even as the landholding is shrinking. Such policies have led to a food scarcity in the country.”
Rakesh Tikait, spokesperson of the BKU said that farmers from Haryana, Punjab, UP, Rajasthan, Uttrakhand would take part in the ‘halla bol’ agitation beginning from March 9. “If the government does not lend an ear to us, then we would call a grand rally in Delhi,” he stated.
Bhartiya Kisan Union