VIJAYAWADA: Hundreds of farmers across the State will court arrest as part of the Jail Bharo programme on Thursday protesting the ‘anti-farmer’ policies of the Narendra Modi government.At 20 administrative centres in 13 districts, 1,000 farmers each will stage picketing at the Collectorates and Collector’s camp offices demanding the Modi government to step down from power for ‘betraying’ farmers.
As a prelude to the Jail Bharo programme, which has been taken up by the All India Kisan Sabha in 400 districts across the country, signatures of lakhs of farmers were collected. In each district, not less than 30,000 signatures were collected and they would be submitted to the District Collectors after the protest.
“If they refuse to take our memorandums and arrest us, we are ready for court arrest. All we want is to have the anti-farmer government quit. Tomorrow, it happens to be the day on which Mahatma Gandhi asked British to Quit India and now, we are asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to quit Sarkar,” Y Kesava Rao, president of AP Rythu Sangham, said.
According to him, in the last four years, farmers in the country have suffered losses to the tune of Rs 2 lakh crore and there has been an increase in farmer suicides by 26 per cent. “Though the Centre claims that it has announced MSP for crops, it is not helping the farmers in any manner. It is not in tune with MS Swaminathan Commission recommendations. The farmer’s effort is calculated at just Rs 36 per day and only diesel expenses of the tractor are taken into consideration. But the investment into cultivation is much more,” he said.
The farmer leader found fault with the Central Government for weakening the marketing base as FCI, Markfed and other government agencies are disinterested in procurement of farm produce, which has only resulted in lack of competition, making farmers suffer losses.
Some of the demands put forth by the farmers are implementation of MS Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, payment of premium under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana by the government and `5,000 per month pension to small and marginal farmers, who crossed 60 years of age.