Under the umbrella of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), thousands of farmers from all over the country including Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh have gathered in Delhi for a two-day protest to press for their demands, including debt relief and prices worthwhile of their produce.
AIKSCC is an umbrella body of 207 organisations of farmers and agricultural workers. AIKSCC claims that the rally is going to be one of the largest congregations of farmers in Delhi. The AIKSCC was formed under the umbrella of All India Kisan Sabha and other Left leaned farmers’ bodies in June 2017, after protests by farmers in states like Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh for debt relief and remunerative prices.
Many farmers have reached the Ramlila Maidan after completing a long journey of around 36 hours. The Maidan resonated with slogans of ‘Ayodhya nahi, Karzi maaf chahiye (We don’t need Ayodhya but debt waiver’).
Many activists have also extended their solidarity to the farmers.
Political activist Yogendra Yadav tweeted:”Women farmers greet us this morning from Bijwasan as they are all set to embark on #KisanMuktiMarch. Join us even if you are not a farmer. Join the hands that toil to feed us. Jai Kisan!.”
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan tweeted:”Over 3 lakh farmers have committed suicide in India in last 15 yrs,due to successive govts betraying them. Tomorrow 1 lakh farmers from across the country are marching to Delhi to ask for fair prices & freedom from debt. Let’s stand in solidarity with them.”
Also the university students have turned up in large numbers to support farmers. Several Delhi University students and professors, under the banner of DU for Farmers, mobilised support ahead of the march and distributed food packets to the farmers.
Five Gurdwaras — Bangla Sahib Gurdwara, Sisganj Sahib, Rakabganj, Bap Sahib and Manju Ka Tila in the Delhi region have extended their help to the farmers.
Vounteers, including doctors, lawyers, professors and artists, all came out in large numbers to help. Around 600-700 volunteers of a solidarity group Nation For Farmers marched with the farmers from four assembly points -Bijwasan, Majnu Ka Tila, Nizamuddin and Anand Vihar towards Ramlila Maidan.
AIKS leader, Atul Anjaan said,”Delhi Jal Board will provide them water tanks and AAP local MLAs will give food packets.”