Farmers and agricultural labourers under the aegis of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) took out a tractor rally here on Thursday, seeking unconditional withdrawal of the three new farm laws.
Farmers from across Prakasam district came riding hundreds of tractors and motorcycles for the rally organised by AIKSCC district convenor Ch. Ranga Rao to express their solidarity with their counterparts agitating in the national capital.
They urged the Central government to ensure remunerative price for farm produce as per the formula suggested by agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan and increase the quantum of the Prime Minister’s Kisan Yojana benefits to at least ₹18,000 taking into consideration the rising input cost.
Leading the rally, All India Kisan Sabha national joint secretary Vijoo Krishnan said it was unfortunate that the ‘black laws’ were enacted at a time when the farmers were enduring huge losses because of the coronavirus and the ‘unplanned lockdown’.
“Instead of providing relief to the small and marginal farmers, the Centre chose to curry favour with the corporate sector, leaving the farmers to fend for themselves. The new laws will eventually reduce farmers to labourers on the own land,” he said.
He further said that massive protests should continue even after the Republic Day to bring more pressure on the NDA government to take back the three farm laws and press cooperative farming with the participation by farmers and agricultural labourers instead of corporate farming.
Though the Centre has offered to keep the new laws in abeyance, the farmers should maintain a constant vigil as the BJP-ruled States could go ahead with the implementation, he cautioned.
Social security scheme
AIKS-led Tenant Farmers Association State secretary P. Jamalaiah demanded a comprehensive social security scheme for farmers and farm workers and food security for the nation, ‘which was at jeopardy following the amendment made to the Essential Commodities Act.’