November 15, 2020

Telangana: Dharna Against Farm Bills

Sarma Kambhampati

THE All India  Kisan Struggle Co-ordination Committee(AIKSCC) leaders criticised the central government for turning states into its pocket institutions. Violating the federal spirit, the central government brought three farm bills and one electricity amendment bill. The leaders called on the people and farmers to reject these anti-people bills. They threatened to give a call “Delhi Chalo” on November 26 and 27th, if the bills are not abolished and withdrawn and also to give a call for a grameen  bandh(rural strike).

As per the call given by  AIKSCC, statewide protests were organised on November 5th.  Protests took place in 60 centres in which nearly 3,500 peasants participated, and 101 leaders arrested across the state. Rasta roko was organised in RTC Cross Roads in Hyderabad. The leaders who raised slogans against the central government were arrested by police and taken to the police station. The leaders demanded compensation for the farmers who lost their produce because of heavy rains. They demanded that all produce of the farmers including the wet crops should be purchased by the government. Slogans were raised that Parliament should approve the Minimum Support Prices Act.

T Sagar, state convener of AIKSCC, speaking at the rasta roko, said that the central BJP government is enacting bills against the spirit of the constitution. Even though the old ally of the BJP, Shiromani Akali Dal, and its own organization, Kisan Sangh opposed farm bills. This way, it(BJP) wants to help the corporates in a big way. A resolution should be passed in the Telangana state assembly opposing the farm bills, he demanded. He regretted that in nearly 20 lakh acres of land, crops were damaged and as a result, Rs 15,000 crore loss occurred. In this background, no announcement was made to help the farmers is regrettable. Electricity Amendment Bill will deprive free electricity facility for 25,000 agricultural pump sets, he warned. Kisan leader, Pasya  Padma, speaking  said that the items included in the Essential Items Act,  like rice, wheat, jowar, ragi, pulses, oilseeds, potato, oil and seeds have been removed and now the government has no authority to control the prices of these items. V Venkatramayya said that farmers are not going to have any protection in the markets. N Narasimhareddy, B Prasad, R Venkatramulu, and other leaders also participated.