Hyderabad: AIKC Calls to Defeat BJP in State Assembly Elections
A MEETING of the All-India Kisan Council (AIKC) of the All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) was held at the P Sundarayya Vignana Kendram at Hyderabad, capital of Telangana, on January 10-11, 2022. It was the first meeting of the AIKC after the epic victory of the historic nationwide farmers’ struggle in November-December 2021 and was therefore full of enthusiasm. It was attended by AIKC leaders from 17 states; a few states could not come due to Covid issues.
The AIKC gave a clarion call to employ all its strength to defeat the BJP in the coming crucial state assembly elections; to make a great success of the January 19 worker-peasant unity day and the February 23-24 all India general strike and rural hartal; and to vastly strengthen the AIKS organisation nationwide with the impetus gained by the victory of the farmers’ struggle.
The AIKC meeting began on January 10 with the flag hoisting by AIKS president, Ashok Dhawale. AIKS joint secretary, N K Shukla placed the condolence resolution paying homage to departed leaders, the 715 martyrs of the farmers’ struggle and other martyrs.
PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS AND GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT
In his presidential address, Ashok Dhawale warmly congratulated all AIKC members, the AIKS as a whole, and the people of India for their admirable role in this heroic farmers’ struggle, which succeeded in getting the three hated farm laws repealed. After explaining the political significance of this struggle and its victory, he took stock of the international and national challenges facing the peasant movement. He particularly targeted the heinous role of imperialism led by the USA at the international level and the grave danger of corporate communalism and authoritarianism led by the BJP-RSS regime and its crony corporates at the national level. While referring to the sterling work done and the alternative policies implemented by the LDF government of Kerala as “a silver lining in the dark cloud over the country”, he concluded by outlining the future political tasks before the AIKS.
AIKS general secretary, Hannan Mollah then placed the general secretary’s report in four sections: The agrarian situation in India; the historic farmers’ struggle and its great victory; on organisation; and future tasks.
He also began by congratulating the AIKS, all other organisations of farmers in the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), the joint platform of central trade unions, organisations of agricultural labourers, women, students, youth, and the people all over the country for the hard-won victory of the farmers’ struggle. He said that the agrarian situation in the country continued to be grim, with increasing farmer suicides, denial of MSP to crores of farmers in the country, the fertiliser shortages leading to black marketing, huge crop losses due to natural calamities, pests and wild animals, and growing hunger. After dealing with various aspects of the farmers’ struggle, including the consistently pro-active role of the AIKS centre and all state units, he stressed the need to concentrate on united and independent struggles on the burning problems of farmers in each state, and to greatly consolidate, expand, strengthen and streamline the AIKS organisation in the coming one year, which will culminate in the 35th all India conference of the AIKS that will be held in Kerala.
There was an excellent four-hour-long discussion on the general secretary’s report, in which 29 members from all the 17 states participated. Prominent among those who spoke was K N Balagopal, former state general secretary of the AIKS in Kerala, who is now the finance minister in the LDF government of Kerala. All the other speakers, while placing many inspiring instances of the work in their states, both independent and united, during the one year of this farmers’ struggle, also commended the pro-active work of the AIKS centre, which resulted in the AIKS being represented both in the nine-member committee and in the five-member committee of the SKM. All of them pledged to enhance their struggles and strengthen all aspects of their organisation in the days ahead. On January 11, after the general secretary’s reply to the discussion, the report was adopted unanimously.
RESOLUTIONS AND FUTURE TASKS
AIKS joint secretary, Vijoo Krishnan placed the following resolutions: Defeat communal, anti-farmer, anti-worker BJP in the forthcoming assembly elections; Make a resounding success of the countywide general strike and rural hartal on February 23-24; Against the anti-national and criminal efforts at communal polarisation; Ensure compensation for crop losses due to natural calamities and other causes; Against the ban on cattle trade and transport; and on the K-Rail project in Kerala.
AIKS finance secretary, P Krishnaprasad placed the future tasks before the AIKS and also the statement of accounts. The main task, apart from those specified in the above resolutions, was the AIKS holding public meetings in the next two months in one lakh villages across the country explaining the significance of the victory of the farmers’ struggle and also concentrating on the remaining demands like a legal guarantee to MSP, loan waiver, radical pro-farmer changes in the PM crop insurance scheme, issues of credit, irrigation and power, expansion of MGNREGA and PDS, stringent implementation of FRA and PESA, and important land-related issues. The other major task was to strengthen the unity of the SKM, AIKSCC and Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan for a united pan-India struggle, while also concentrating on the independent struggles of the AIKS.
The main organisational tasks that were decided included: A massive membership enrolment drive to be completed by April 30; Thousands of village unit conferences to begin immediately, along with the registration of all primary units at the centre; Streamline the entire organisation through conferences from the area to the state level, culminating in the all India conference in Kerala in December 2022; Pay special attention to identify, recruit and promote youth and women activists at all levels; Plan annual and systematic political schooling of activists at all levels; Regularise the work of the crop wise subcommittees; Prepare and submit a full list of AIKS whole time cadres to the centre; Strengthen and expand the work of the P Sundarayya Trust; Regularise the publication of the AIKS central journals ‘Peasants’ Struggle’ and ‘Kisan Sangharsh’; Hold an all India seminar on agricultural policy alternatives by March 2022; Strengthen the all India and state centres of the AIKS; Strengthen coordination between AIKS, CITU and AIAWU at all levels in the direction of forging worker-peasant unity; Speed up the process of construction of the AIKS central office in New Delhi; Decide on and implement a large kisan sangharsh countrywide fund call; and streamline the accounts of all state units.
All the resolutions, future tasks and accounts were adopted unanimously by the AIKC.
A Telugu edition of Hannan Mollah’s book, “An Outline History of the All India Kisan Sabha” was published by the AIKS Telangana state committee and was released on this occasion by Ashok Dhawale. The latest issue of the AIKS central journal ‘Peasants’ Struggle’, which was a special issue on the victorious farmers’ struggle, and the documents of the earlier AIKC online meeting held in July 2021, were also released in this meeting.The meeting concluded with resounding slogans, after congratulating and thanking the AIKS Telangana comrades and volunteers, who had made excellent arrangements for it.
In the afternoon on January 11, a well-attended press conference was held, and in the evening an online public meeting was held. The public meeting was presided over by AIKS Telangana president, P Jangireddy, and it was addressed by Hannan Mollah, Ashok Dhawale and AIKS Telangana state general secretary, T Sagar.