KANNUR: Agitations by farmers against the Union government will continue, said All India Kisan Sabha president Ashok Dhawale, who was inducted into the CPM politburo on Sunday. In a chat with TNIE, he spoke about farmer-led protests.
As a politburo member, how do you plan to take the farmers’ agitations forward?
We plan to convene a meeting of all Left-supporting farmer organisations. This movement is not just Left-specific. We are looking at all organisations to come together to take up various issue-based struggles.
Did the farmers’ agitations have an impact on elections?
In Uttar Pradesh, the agitations did reflect in the polls. The BJP lost nearly 70 seats this time in western UP, which was the epicentre of the farmers agitations. So we cannot say there was no impact. The BJP, however, as usual managed to create communal polarisation. Political campaigning against communalism thus becomes imperative. There is also a general feeling that the Samajwadi Party (SP) did not sustain its electoral campaigning. Fighting Congress is qualitatively different from fighting the RSS. The BJP lost in Punjab. AAP, which had supported the farmers’ struggle, came to power there.
What’s the next course of action?
We still need to get a guarantee on the minimum support price. The government is yet to act on that front. The SKM (Samyuktha Kisaan Morcha) will meet in a few days. We have asked the Centre for the terms of reference for the new committee to be formed, as assured by the Centre. Kisaan Sabha has also given a call for country-wide demonstrations. There are other issues like total loan waiver to peasants too.