NEW DELHI: In a political turn in the farmers’ protest, unions agitating for repeal of the three farm laws on Tuesday said their leaders would visit poll-bound states and seek votes in favour of parties contesting against the BJP.
The umbrella body of the unions, Sanyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), also decided to launch “MSP Dilao Abhiyan” (get us MSP campaign) across the country – an attempt to widen their support base beyond Punjab, Haryana and western UP.
The campaign on legal guarantee to purchase at minimum support price (MSP) will be initiated in the south Indian states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana before being fanned out to other states.
“We will send our teams to poll-bound states such as West Bengal and Kerala. We will not support any political party but appeal to people to vote for the candidates who can defeat the BJP due to the Modi government’s attitude towards farmers,” said Balbir Singh Rajewal of BKU (Rajewal).
Elaborating on it, Yogendra Yadav of Swaraj India said, “We will appeal to people to punish this party (BJP) and its allies who brought anti-farmer laws. This programme will begin in Kolkata on March 12 with a public meeting.”
Though the SKM’s representatives will also visit poll-bound Tamil Nadu and Assam, its focus is learnt to be on West Bengal and Kerala where it can get traction with the help of cadre of left parties-linked All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) which has a massive presence in both the states.
After holding a general body meeting of its constituents at Singhu Border, the SKM also announced its series of protests plan till March 15, beginning a five-hour (11am to 4pm) blockade of KMP Expressway, connecting various protest sites, on March 6 after completion of 100 days of their agitation at Delhi’s borders.
Toll plazas will also be freed up from collecting toll fees during the blockade. “In rest of India, the day will be marked by flying black flags on houses and offices to signify support to the movement, and to protest against the government,” said Darshan Pal, leader of the SKM.
On March 8, the Morcha will mark the day as ‘Mahila Kisan Diwas’, coinciding it with the International Women’s Day. “All SKM protest sites across the country will witness greater participation of women on that day, and it will be women who will manage the stages and will be speakers,” said the SKM in a statement.
The SKM will on March 15 join hands with 10 major central trade unions who will be marking the day as “anti-privatisation” day.
Yadav said, “It was decided in-principle that farmers and labourers will fight this battle together. We will take to streets across the country against privatisation and corporatization on March 15.”