New Delhi, Thousands of farmers from across the nation are headed to the Ramlila ground here to press their demands for higher crop prices and farm loan waivers, among others.
The farmers are marching in from Nizamuddin, Sabzi Mandi Station, Anand Vihar Terminal and Majnu Ka Tila.
While Yogendra Yadav of Swaraj India is leading a ‘Chalo Dilli’ rally from Bijwasan to Ramlila Maidan, that has been joined by farmers from Odisha, Haryana, Rajasthan.
Two special trains carrying farmers, one from Maharashtra’s Miraj and other from Bengaluru, were expected to reach Delhi later in the day.
The farmers will congregate at the Ramlila ground by 8 p.m.
Social activists, including Medha Patkar and noted journalist P. Sainath, have extended their support to the rally and said the situation of farmers in the country has deteriorated to a level like never before.
Many women farmers and students from Delhi University are also part of the rally to push the Centre to provide relief to the distressed farmers.
On Friday, under the umbrella body All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) they will march from Ramlila Maidan to the Parliament Street against the “anti-farmer” policies of the BJP-government and court arrest.
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader and Member of Parliament Raju Shetti, who is also a part of the AIKSCC, introduced two Private Member’s Bills in the Lok Sabha in 2017, seeking a loan waiver and a guaranteed remunerative prices for agricultural commodities based on the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission.
The AIKSCC, which represents over 200 farm outfits, has demanded the Bills be discussed and passed in Parliament.
It said 21 political parties have extended their support to the Bills and their representatives may visit the protest march on Friday.
Several prominent writers, intellectuals and artists, including Nayantara Sahgal, K. Satchidanandan, Ganesh Devy and Damodar Mauzo, have expressed solidarity with the farmers.
“I am one with the farmers in all their demands. The Indian state has been ungrateful to the point of cruelty to the farmers who feed the people of our country. This cannot go on. The Indian peasant’s plight defines the nation’s condition and the state needs to do everything to solve their problems.
“Their genuine grievances ought to be addressed by a special session of the country’s parliament and concrete solutions should be sought,” said Satchidanandan, a noted Indian poet and critic, who writes in Malayalam and English.
The group has come together under the “Artists for Farmers” banner and will join the farmers entering Delhi from four different directions and will congregate at Ramlila Maidan on the night of November 29 and will march to the Parliament for a public meeting on the morning of November 30.
Meanwhile, BJP parliamentarian Varun Gandhi’s book, “Rural Manifesto”, which will release in December, explores rural Indias innate perseverance and highlight potential solutions in development policy with a focus on making the rural economy resilient, New Delhi-based Rupa Publications has announced.
On Monday, book detailing how the Narendra Modi government’s policies have led to a drop in farmers’ income and caused rural distress across the country was launched in the capital. ‘Modiraj Main Kisan, Double Aamad Ya Double afat’ has been authored by Yogendra Yadav.