Issued ‘peoples’ whip’ for MPs to raise farmers’ demand during parliament monsoon session: SKM

Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) leader Balbir Singh Rajewal on Wednesday said the umbrella body of farmers’ unions has issued a ‘peoples’ whip’ to all MPs to demand scrapping of farm laws and a legal guarantee on MSP in parliament during the monsoon session. The agitating farmers said their planned protests at the Parliament from July 22 till the end of the monsoon session will be peaceful.

Asserting that their next target is to strengthen the stir in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, the protesters said meetings will be held in districts of these two states from August 1 to 25 followed by a ‘mahapanchayat’ in Muzaffarnagar on September 5.

At a press conference, Rajewal said the SKM has issued a ‘peoples’ whip’ that will be served on all MPs of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

“The People’s Whip directed the MPs to raise the demands of the agitating farmers — repeal of the three black farm laws and a legal guarantee of receiving minimum support price (MSP) — in both Houses of Parliament and not allow either House to do any business till the union government gives assures of acceding to the demands,” he said.

This will be complemented by farmers’ protests outside the parliament, Rajewal said, adding, “MPs and MLAs will raise the issue within the parliament and the farmers will raise it outside.”

While the farm leaders did not comment on whether they have received permission to hold demonstrations outside the Parliament, they maintained that the protests will be “peaceful”.

“Every day from July 22 till the end of the monsoon session, 200 farmers will protest outside the parliament. If the government gets us arrested, it will, and if it does not, we will return to the borders in the evening only to go back the next day again,” another leader said.

The leaders also urged their fellow protestors, particularly those who would be demonstrating at the parliament, to submit their identification details, including photographs and Aadhar cards to ensure a “peaceful protest”.

A tractor parade in Delhi on January 26, that was to highlight the demands of farmer unions to repeal three new agri laws, had dissolved into anarchy on the streets of the national capital as thousands of protesters broke through barriers, fought with the police, overturned vehicles and hoisted a religious flag from the ramparts of the iconic Red Fort.

“We have asked the protestors for their details. If there is any wrongdoing on the part of any farmer, they will be punished accordingly,” a farmer leader told the press conference.

According to an SKM statement, a special protest march outside parliament exclusively by women farmer leaders and volunteers will be organised on July 26 and August 9.

“Women farmers have been at the forefront of this long and historic struggle of farmers for their livelihood and future. The special marches on these two days shall highlight the unique and memorable role that women have played,” it said.

Announcing their strategy for the next few months, Rajewal said their upcoming move would be ‘Mission UP and Uttarakhand’.

“Our next target is to strengthen our agitation in Uttarakhand and UP. From August 1-25, we will hold meetings across districts. On September 5, there will be a ‘mahapanchayat’ in Muzaffarnagar,” he said.

It has been over seven months since the farmers’ agitation against the three farm laws that they claim will do away with the minimum support price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations, began.

Over 10 rounds of talks with the government, which has been projecting the laws as major agricultural reforms, has failed to break the deadlock between the two parties.

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