The agitation launched against the agricultural laws brought out by the Centre is picking up momentum in Telangana too.
The Chalo Hyderabad call given by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee evoked good response from farmers in different parts of the State. According to the committee, over a thousand farmers managed to reach the city braving the arrests by police in the districts. The civil society too joined forces with the agitating farmers and expressed solidarity with them by participating in the demonstration at the Dharna Chowk here on Wednesday.
The protesters were demanding repeal of the three “anti-farmer” laws as also the new Electricity Bill mandating meters to all farm connections and privatisation of the distribution companies. The participants denounced the State government’s action in deploying police to foil the protest.
They demanded that the State government ensure minimum support price for all crops and pass a resolution through the Legislature opposing the Central Acts. The government should make amendments to the relevant legislations governing agriculture and marketing sectors to negate the Central Acts, they said.
Demanding that the government continue local procurement of crops ensuring MSP, they urged Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao against making a “u-turn” on the vehement opposition he voiced against the Central laws.
They criticized the “undemocratic” attempts of the police to prevent the farmers from holding the protest meeting peacefully. The police, they alleged, took a u-turn after indicating that permission was accorded for the meeting.
They lamented that several leaders were detained in the districts and farmers’ groups were stopped in Suryapet, Khammam, Mulugu and other districts from coming to Hyderabad.
The AIKSCC leaders wondered how the Chief Minister changed his stance on the farm laws. The ruling party which supported the bandh on December 8 with TRS working president K. T. Rama Rao himself joining the protest was now obstructing the protest launched by the farmers. “Has Mr. Rao made a deal with PM Modi in Delhi to support the Acts which he has denounced several times as anti-farmer?” they questioned. They were critical of the government’s announcement that procurement would be stopped forthwith and farmers should depend only on the market for better prices.
Satbir Singh, a farmer leader from Punjab, who came from Singhu Border, shared the intensity of the movement in Punjab, which expanded to every section of the society.