PUNE: Riding on the success of the Farmer’s Long March from Nashik to Mumbai from March 6 to 12 which had grabbed the nation’s attention, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), has announced that it will now take the story of successful struggles in Sikar in Rajasthan and Maharashtra to the national stage. AIKS has said in an official release that it will take up a national signature campaign of farmers asking for redressal to the ongoing agrarian distress.
The AIKS release says that it is planning to take up a campaign which will collect signatures of almost 10 crore farmers. The signature campaign will be carried out to put pressure on the Central Government regarding three demands, primarily, being the implementation of Swaminathan Commission recommendations, granting the promised Minimum Support Price and the complete waiver of crop loans for the farmers in the country.
Ajit Nawale, the Maharashtra Secretary of the AIKS, said, “A meeting of all state units of the AIKS concluded on Saturday in Delhi. The AIKS has decided to take the success of state-level protests to the national stage to fight for problems of farmers from all over the nation,” adding, “We in Maharashtra unit, will go to at least 10 lakh farmers’ families and create awareness among them.”
According to AIKS, farmers’ leaders from almost 25 states were present for the meeting. When asked if it will be just the signature campaign which will reflect the struggle, Nawale said that they are planning a multi-pronged strategy. “We will not only stop with the signature campaign. There will be struggles on the ground too.”
“We are planning a state level meet on April 8 and 9 at Belapur. Representatives of 27 districts in the state will be present for the meet,” Nawale said. When asked whether he is assured about the results of the Long March and if the State government will fulfil its promises, Nawale said, “We were given a 6-month time-bound programme by the government to allot tribal lands to tribal farmers. The government has conducted meetings in Thane, Palghar and Nashik. Other demands like Swaminathan Commission and MSP are issues of the Centre and hence, the national struggle will be launched. We will continue to put pressure on the government to fulfil its promises.”