Now if voters respond positively to farmers’ call to defeat BJP, it will be a major setback for Modi and his party.
By Rakesh Raman
The agitated Indian farmers – who had suspended their protests in December last year when prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi had withdrawn the contentious farm laws – have launched the next phase of their agitation.
The united body of farmers – Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) – has urged the voters to defeat the candidates of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming state elections – particularly in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Uttarakhand.
At a press conference on February 6 in UP, the SKM leaders – including Darshan Pal, Rakesh Tikait, Yogendra Yadav, Yudhveer Singh, and Hannan Mollah – complained that the Modi government has not fulfilled its promises made to farmers.
Farmers demand that the government should withdraw the police cases filed against the protesters during the year-long agitation in Delhi and other states. They have reiterated their demand to arrest Ajay Mishra, India’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Mishra is accused of a conspiracy to murder at least four farmers and another person on October 3 at Lakhimpur Kheri in the UP state.
Farmers – mainly from Punjab, Haryana, and UP states – had protested for over a year beginning November 2020 against the three farm laws announced by the Modi government. Their demands also included the legal guarantee by the government to give a minimum support price (MSP) for certain crops.
But the farmers had ended their agitation abruptly, as some of the cunning farm leaders decided to betray the protesting farmers with the aim to contest the Punjab election which is scheduled to take place on February 20.
It is largely believed that PM Modi had announced the withdrawal of farm laws because of the elections in various states of India. Since farmers constitute a very big voting bloc, Modi’s BJP would have faced fierce opposition from protesting farmers in elections if he had not repealed the laws.
But the mere repeal of farm laws could not satisfy farmers who expect the Modi government to accept all their demands. Now if voters respond positively to farmers’ call to defeat BJP, it will be a major setback for Modi and his party.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.
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