NEW DELHI: As the NDA government plans to reach out to Dalits and farmers as part of its outreach programmes from April 15 to May 5, some farmers’ and workers’ organisations have decided to join hands and hold rallies, demonstrations and a signature campaign to publicise the Centre’s failure to address their demands.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a recent address to BJP MPs, directed them to reach out to Dalits and farmers in their constituencies and apprise them about the government’s welfare schemes.
The Centre is launching a drive in 21,000 villages on April 14 to distribute caste and social benefit scheme certificates.
In a countermove, the left-affiliated All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), which led a massive farmers’ protest in Maharashtra, the Jan Ekta Jan Adhikar Aandolan (JEJAA), a common platform for peasants and workers, and trade unions have planned rallies and protests across the country.
The JEJAA is planning a “Pol Khol, Halla bol” (expose and protest) agitation across the country on May 23, ahead of the fourth anniversary of the NDA government.
The move is meant to expose alleged betrayal of promises made to the people in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s election manifesto.
“It has been decided to intensify independent and united struggles in a systematic manner. Our rallies and protests, in a way, will counter the government’s planned outreach in villages and Dalit-dominated areas,” said Vijoo Krishnan, joint secretary of AIKS.
After the march by farmers and tribals from Nasik to Mumbai in March this year, promises made by the Maharashtra government remained unfulfilled, the AIKS said.
The organisation has announced another protest from June 1, the first anniversary of the start of a farmers’ strike in Maharashtra. It has also started a campaign to collect 10 crore signatures of farmers in support of higher minimum support prices and other demands. The signatures will be sent to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Agitations lined up:
Pol Khol-Halla Bol agitation on May 23, 2018.
Submission of 10 crore signatures of farmers and Jail Bharo agitation on August 9, 2018.
Indefinite sit-in in front of Parliament from August 1, 2018.
Kisan-Mazdoor Sangharsh Rally on September 5, 2018.