Farmer leader V.M. Singh, who had withdrawn from the ongoing farmers’ agitation last month, has returned to protest against the farm laws under the banner of Uttar Pradesh Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (UPKMM).
The new group has come to change the form of the ongoing farmers’ agitation demanding repeal of three new laws and a new law on minimum support price (MSP), the group’s leaders said.
Singh said that UPKMM planned to send five messages every day from each of the villages in the state to the Prime Minister.
The UPKMM was formed on February 21, comprising 22 different farmers’ organisations.
“I never said that I was withdrawing from the ongoing agitation. The agitation will remain the same, but we are not with anyone whosoever is responsible for the Republic Day violence.
“We have now changed gears and our demands will be for Uttar Pradesh. The government should hold talks with us for farmers of UP. In fact, we have demanded talks. We have promised that we will have no ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from our side and will hold talks on every clause one by one. Either they make us understand or they understand our point of view,” Singh told reporters.
The UPKMM said that there are about 86 per cent small and marginal farmers across the country who have no means to come to Delhi for protests and are also facing issues due to rise in cost of production of their crops.
“Each day, five farmers from a village will sit on a relay hunger strike from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. At 11 a.m., they will be given information on the three new farm laws. At 3 p.m., every person fasting will record a brief message while giving his introduction to the Prime Minister. This way, the voice of every farmer will reach the Prime Minister,” UPKMM said in a statement.
The statement said that the relay fast will be for the rollback of three farm laws and a new law on MSP, and will go on till the time every grain of wheat is not purchased on MSP.
Singh said, “Our protests will start March 1. We have 75 districts in the state and even if we imagine that 500 villages get covered in every district, then you can imagine the number of messages which will be sent to the Prime Minister every day from every village. If the Prime Minister says that MSP will remain, then we will get the rate of wheat on MSP and will continue to protest till every grain of wheat has been purchased on MSP,” Singh said.
The UPKMM has also planned that farmers will collect a handful of grain from every house and will hold a ‘bhandara’ (community kitchen) every week so that they bond with each other.