Muzaffarnagar: Thousands of protesting farmers from Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring states against the Centre’s contentious three farm laws on Sunday made it clear that they would campaign against the ruling BJP in UP and Uttarakhand assembly elections in 2022 if their demands are not accepted. They even threatened to continue their agitation till 2024 when Lok Sabha elections are due.
The SKM on Saturday claimed that thousands of farmers from 15 states have reached Muzaffarnagar to participate in the mahapanchayat.
Demanding repealing of the three new farm laws enacted by the Centre, thousands of farmers from 15 states reached Muzaffarnagar to attend a ‘Kisan mahapanchayat’ organised by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM).
The BJP termed the ‘Kisan mahapanchayat’ an “election meeting” and accused its organisers of indulging in politics with assembly polls approaching in a number of states, including Uttar Pradesh.
However BJP MP Varun Gandhi on Sunday described farmers, who have been protesting against three farm laws, as “our own flesh and blood” and suggested that the government should re-engage with them in reaching common ground.
“We need to start re-engaging with them in a respectful manner: understand their pain, their point of view and work with them in reaching common ground,” Gandhi tweeted.
Bahujan Samaj Party too demanded that the Centre accepted the demands of farmers who have been protesting for nearly nine months against the three farm laws.
CPM’s Sitaram Yechury extended the full support of his party and other Left parties to the ongoing farmers’ agitation against the three new farm laws and Kisan Mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar.
The move to resume their agitation, which had somewhat ebbed due to the pandemic outbreak, is significant as it comes months ahead of the crucial assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh
The farmers unanimously gave a call for ‘Bharat Bandh’ on September 27 in protest against the three contentious farm laws.
BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said that farmers’ meetings are planned all across the country in the days ahead.
“We have to stop the country from getting sold. Farmers should be saved, the country should be saved; business, employees and youth should be saved-this is the aim of the rally,” Tikait said.
“We take a pledge that we’ll not leave the protest site there (at Delhi borders) even if our graveyard is made there. We will lay down our lives if needed, but will not leave the protest site until we emerge victorious,” he added.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) media in-charge Dharmendra Malik said farmers belonging to 300 organisations spread across different states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra and even Karnataka have gathered for the event.
The farmers, including women carrying flags of different organisations and wearing different coloured caps, were seen arriving at the venue in buses, cars and tractors.
A woman farmer leader from Karnataka addressed the gathering in Kannada language.
Farmer leaders said that the Mahapanchayat will prove that the agitation has the support of ‘all castes, religions, states, classes, small traders and all sections of the society’.
The SKM said in a statement, “The Mahapanchayat will make the Modi and Yogi governments realise the power of farmers, farm labourers, and supporters of the farm movement.”
The Congress on Sunday voiced support for the ‘kisan mahapanchayat’ in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar with party leader Rahul Gandhi saying the call of truth is echoing and an “unjust government” will have to listen.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that the “arrogance of power” cannot withstand the roar of the farmers.