New Delhi, Feb 13 (PTI) The Samyukt Kisan Morcha has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding Minimum Support Price for crops, slamming action on the farmers' 'Dilli Chalo' march and accusing the government of trying to "project" division among farmer bodies.
It urged all like-minded farmer organisations to unite and take part in the February 16 Gramin Bharat Bandh called by the central trade unions.
The statement comes on a day the 'Delhi Chalo' agitation, spearheaded by SKM splinter group Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, faced tear gas shells near Ambala and Jind protesters tried to break past police barricades set up by the Haryana Police to stop them from heading to the national capital.
Said the SKM, "Your government and that of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh led by the BJP have resorted to repressive measures on peaceful protests of farmers and unleashed lathi-charge, rubber bullets and tear gas shells, injuring many and inflict an atmosphere of terror on common farmers."
The SKM mentioned their demands including MSP for all crops based on the Swaminathan formula of C2+50 (input cost of capital+50 per cent), legal guarantee of procurement, debt waiver, no hike in electricity tariff and no smart metres.
They also demanded free 300 units power for farming and for domestic use and for shops, comprehensive crop insurance, and a hike in pensions to Rs 10,000 per month among others.
"Your ministers have been hesitant to talk with the SKM while being more interested in talking with other platforms to project that the farmers' movement is divided in order to escape from your constitutional responsibility of solving the problems that distress the farmers," the SKM said.
It said the Union government's plans of obstructing and repressing the 'Dilli Chalo' agitation is regrettable.
"The administration has barricaded the borders by erecting concrete barricades, iron nails, barbed wires on the Highways in Punjab border. It has suspended internet, imposed section 144 and created an atmosphere of terror, thus treating protesters as if they are enemies of the country," they said.
"As the Prime Minister of India we urge you to show sympathy on the plight of farmers in the face of severe onslaught of the corporate intervention in agriculture actively supported by the Union Budgets and departmental actions.
"We urge you to immediately address the demands raised by the SKM and initiate discussion in order to resolve the demands of the farmers of the country," they said.
In another statement, the SKM called upon all "like-minded Kisan oragnisations" to make an effort to build a common and united struggle on these issues.
"We wish to recall the emergence of SKM as an issue-based united movement that had fought the anti-farmer and pro-corporate three farm laws and in the process farmers got united and we were successful with the active support of the workers and trade union movement of the country in pushing back the government," it said.
"After that success, it has been regrettable that for various other aspects, other than need of farmers' struggle against corporate attacks, there was disunity and that needs to be addressed by all of us, especially in the face of renewed corporate-led attacks by the Government of India on farmer's incomes and freedom. The Union Government desires to depict the Kisan movement as divided and trying to divert people's attention," the statement said.
On the February 16 industrial strike and the Gramin Bharat Bandh, it said that mass organisations of students, youths, women and all other sections including agricultural workers, teachers, small traders, transport operators, professionals, journalists have extended solidarity and support.
"The SKM considers the various Kisan organisations and platforms are also fighting on the same and common demands, hence, all of the like-minded Kisan oragnisations should make an effort to build a common and united struggle on these issues," they said.
It urged them to extend support and participate actively in the February 16th protest.
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, LatestLY Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)