Farmers press for relief, cut of supplies of vegetables, milk to cities

Farmers press for relief, cut of supplies of vegetables, milk to cities

Bhopal/Chandigarh, June 1: Farmers in 22 states launched an agitation to press for the waiver of agricultural loans and the right price for crops, among other things, and criticised the policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party Government at the Centre.
The start of the strike was announced in Bhopal, the capital of BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, by the convenor of the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh, Shivkumar Sharma.
“The farmers’ bodies have named the agitation as ‘gaon bandh’ (village blockade). The cultivators have been asked not to come to the markets in urban areas to sell their farm produce, including milk,” he added.
On the last day of the protest on June 10, the farmers’ bodies will organise a Bharat bandh, he said.
The RKMM is one of the organisations involved in the agitation.
In Punjab, farmers have stopped taking their produce to the cities. “We are getting very good response from fellow farmers for their support to this agitation. At majority of places in the state, farmers have stopped bringing vegetables, milk and other items to the cities for sale,” claimed Balbir Singh Rajewal, president, Bhartiya Kisan Union.
“No farmer is being forced by anyone to stop bringing their produce. The farmers have so much anger against the Central Government that they became a part of this agitation on their own,” said Rajewal.
The decision to stop supplies starting from June 1 till June 10 was taken by farmers under the banner of Kisan Ekta Manch and Rashtriya Kisan Maha Sangh.
In Madhhya Pradesh police have kept a vigil in Mandsaur, where 6 farmers were killed in police firing during the farmers’ agitation on June 6 last year.
Mandsaur’s police chief, Manoj Kumar Singh, told PTI that so far there is no shortage of vegetables and milk in the district as all the markets are open.
In Punjab, Rajewal said no farmer is being forced by anyone to stop taking his produce to cities. “We have also been demanding minimum income guarantee scheme, implementation of Swaminathan Commission report and waiver of farmers’ debt,” said Rajewal.
“We were forced to take this decision as the Central Government failed to help farming community which was in the crisis at this moment,” Rajewal said. (PTI)