Updated March 14th, 2024 at 17:26 IST

Farmers Hold 'Kisan Mahapanchayat' at Delhi's Ramleela Ground

Thousands of farmers gathered at Delhi's Ramleela ground to organise a 'Kisan Mahapanchayat' amidst scorching heat gripping the city.

Reported by: Nikita Sahay
Farmers Hold 'Kisan Mahapanchayat' at Delhi's Ramleela Ground | Image:Republic
Advertisement

New Delhi: Thousands of farmers gathered at Delhi's Ramleela ground to organise a 'Kisan Mahapanchayat' amidst scorching heat gripping the city. Reportedly, over 200 farmers' unions from states including Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Karnataka participated in this mega rally, with an expected turnout of more than 50,000 individuals. The Delhi government ensured basic amenities such as first aid, water, and washrooms for the peaceful conduct of the Kisan Mahapanchayat.

The primary demand of the farmer unions revolve around the implementation of Minimum Support Price (MSP) by the government. Under the umbrella of Samyukta Kisan Morcha, along with notable unions like Bharatiya Kisan Union and AIKKMS, the Kisan Mahapanchayat witnessed significant participation including farm leader Rakesh Tikait from Bharatiya Kisan Union

Advertisement

During the ongoing addresses by farmer leaders, while some bodies called for dialogue with the government to resolve the stalemate, others openly criticised the ruling government. Earlier in February, Union Ministers Arjun Munda and Piyush Goyal engaged in talks with Kisan unions in Mohali, Chandigarh, but these discussions failed to yield any positive outcome. Consequently, Punjab farmers proceeded with their protest plans on February 13, prompting heightened security measures by Delhi and Haryana police to prevent a repeat of previous chaotic incidents.

Despite attempts by some Sikh farmers to breach Delhi borders with tractors and Poclain vehicles, law enforcement agencies used tear gas shells to maintain law and order. Social activist Medha Patkar was among those present at the Kisaan Mahapanchayat, emphasising the diverse representation of voices at the event.

Advertisement

Uttam Kumar Singh, a member of Bharatiya Kisan Union from Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, highlighted the farmers' plight, seeking government support for crop damage caused by recent adverse weather conditions. Additionally, AIKKMS demanded the implementation of MSP and the MS Swaminathan report, while Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) put forth demands for labor code reinstatement and a minimum monthly wage of Rs 26,000 for farmers.

However, some speakers at the Kisan Mahapanchayat directed inflammatory rhetoric towards the government, particularly targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Despite divergent opinions within the gathering, with slogans like 'Modi murdabad' raised by some but not echoed by all, the focus on farmers' welfare remained central.

Advertisement

As leaders from various farmer unions continued to address the gathering, the Delhi Police remained vigilant amidst tight security arrangements. Farmers from other states arrived via buses and trains, underscoring the widespread mobilisation of the Kisan Mahapanchayat.

Advertisement

Published March 14th, 2024 at 17:26 IST