Mahapanchayats to branch out to other states by the end of February: SKM
Following widespread mobilisation in Punjab and Haryana, the farmers’ organisations decided to carry out mahapanchayats in other states of India.
Following the huge success of mahapanchayats in Punjab and Haryana, farmers organisation Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) clarified that it will move towards other states to further the farmers’ protest in states like Madhya Pradesh, Telangana etc.
Scheduled gatherings such as a big mahapanchayat in Bhiwani district of Haryana on ‘Pagdi Sambhal Diwas,’ to condemn State Agriculture Minister JP. Dalal’s insensitive comments against over 200 dead farmers will take place. However, Kisan Mahapanchayats will branch out to other areas following February 23 to utilise the effectiveness of such gatherings.
This decision came after observing how mahapanchayats have become a major medium for farmers organisation to convey their message at the grassroot level. Even as of February 22, 2021 farmers are observing mahapanchayats in Kharkhoda district of Haryana.
Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait started the event with a “hawan” and said that the government sitting in Delhi had lost its mind. Those who talk about not changing the law from the crowd, do not know that the crowd also changes the government, said Amar Ujala.
Farmers hope to have the same effect in West Bengal, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka and other states. Over the weekend, Maharashtra was to observe a similar gathering in Yavatmal district. However, the SKM denounced the news that local leaders were arrested by Maharashtra Police and later they were released on bail. As many as 28 persons, of whom at least 10 of were from Uttarakhand, were arrested in Maharashtra.
Punjab leaders travelling towards the gathering were met with police and CRPF personnel. Some of the arrested people are student leader Navjot Singh Randhawa, farmer activists Neeranjana and Malti and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Chaduni leader Tejvir Singh.
Police cited Coronavirus restrictions for cancelling the event. However, farmers nonetheless observed a mahapanchayat in Wardha district.
Earlier, on February 21, 2021 over 100,000 farmers and farm workers gathered in Barnala district of Punjab to learn about the three farm laws, and the SKM’s future plans to advance the farmers’ movement. Leaders such as Joginder Ugrahan told media persons that they called on people to move to a protest site outside Delhi.
People, including women farmers, took buses, tractors, trailers and cars to reach the place. Local police said between 1,20,000 and 1,30,000 people gathered, effectively making the Sunday mahapanchayat among the largest farmers’ rallies.
According to the SKM, a series of Kisan Mahapanchayats are taking place throughout the country. Illustrating this point, farmer leader Darshan Pal said that a huge gathering assembled on February 20 in rural Chandigarh. People from neighbouring Panchkula and Mohali cities also participated in the mahapanchayats taking place at Sector 25, said the Indian Express. Farmer leaders Gurnam Singh Chaduni, Joginder Singh Ugrahan and Ruldu Singh Mansa attended the event that started from 11 AM and went on till around 2 PM. The thousands of attendees included women, children, academicians, lawyers, student leaders, young artists and senior citizens.
Similarly, Rajasthan observed successful mahapanchayats at Raisingh Nagar on February 18, and Hanumangarh on February 19, in which SKM leaders such as Yogendra Yadav addressed the crowd. Similarly, a mahapanchayat was held in Hisar district on Friday. Apart from farmers, other citizens also promised to come to Delhi Borders in upcoming days.
On the same day as the Raising Nagar event, Uttar Pradesh farmers conducted a huge mahapanchayat at Bilari district. Local farmers were happy to witness an impressive turnout of farmers in the Jan sabha which indicated that the ongoing farmers’ movement continues to gather more strength. Prominent leaders such as Medha Patkar, Gurnam Singh Chaduni, Tejinder Singh Virak, Harpal Singh Bilari and others spoke during the event.
Saturday also witnessed a big rally in Suryapet district, Telangana under the leadership of All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha to oppose the agricultural laws. This event occurred following a Kisan Mahapanchayats in Khammam district of Telangana where tens of thousands of farmers participated.
Meanwhile, youth groups from Karnataka, who had previously started cycle jathas that function similar to mahapanchayats, concluded their previous processions and are now headed towards Delhi to join future protests.
Credit: Sabrang India