Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the coalition of farmer organisations agitating against the Centre’s farm laws meant to liberalise agri-produce trade, has called for nationwide protests against petrol, diesel and cooking gas prices hike on July 8.
At designated public places, protestors will display empty cooking gas cylinders with posters, placards and banners with messages like “Halve the prices of diesel, petrol and cooking gas”, along with “Repeal 3 central farm acts” and “Enact an MSP Guarantee law for all commodities” etc. This will be done between 10 am and 12 noon, SKM leaders said.
SKM has also announced daily protests outside Parliament during the upcoming Parliament Session. From July 22 onwards, every day, five protestors from each organisation associated with SKM, will protest outside Parliament.
SKM will also write to Opposition parties to ensure they actively pick up the demands of the farmers. “We want the Opposition parties to ensure the farmers’ agitation and its demands become the main issue and that the government is brought under pressure to fulfil our demands. We do not want the opposition to create a ruckus or just walkout from the proceedings, but engage constructively inside Parliament, while farmers protest outside,” said a joint statement issued by SKM.
The farmers’ group downplayed the ruling BJP’s emphatic win in Uttar Pradesh district panchayat president polls, alleging that it was “manufactured by pressure, intimidation and cheating”.
“A short while back, when panchayat elections were held in the state, only around 765 out of 3,050 seats went to BJP supported candidates. The most seats, and significantly more than any other party, including the BJP, were won by independents. This was in the case of direct elections where farmers and others have already given their clear mandate. The party’s and the chief minister’s interpretation of the latest results as a mandate of farmers is ridiculous, given that farmers have already given their mandate and it was clearly against BJP,” the leaders said.
The joint statement was issued by SKM leaders Balbir Singh Rajewal, Dr Darshan Pal, Gurnam Singh Charuni, Hannan Mollah, Jagjit Singh Dallewal, Joginder Singh Ugrahan, Shivkumar Sharma ‘Kakkaji’, Yudhvir Singh and Yogendra Yadav.