Farmers’ ‘Mission UP’ on Feb 1 if demands not met; SKM to remain apolitical
New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) said on Saturday that it will hit the ground again from February 1 by launching a ‘Mission UP’ movement if the government does not relent to their demands.
Led by SKM leader Rakesh Tikait, a team of farmers would embark on a three-day tour of Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh from January 21 and meet the families of the victims of the October 4 violence.
If things are not found to be satisfactory, Tikait and the SKM team will camp there and start the ‘Mission UP’ from February 1.
“There has been no progress. No committee has been formed on Minimum Support Price (MSP). There is only some action on withdrawing cases against farmers in Haryana, but not much progress on that count in other states, including Delhi. There has been no discussion on our demand in connection with power bills,” SKM leader Yudhveer Singh told a media conference.
“That leaves us with no option but to launch Mission UP from February 1,” Singh told the media in the presence of other SKM leaders, including Tikait, after a day-long meeting at the Singhu border campsite on the outskirts of Delhi.
SKM, a consortium of 40-odd farmers’ organisations, had on December 9 declared to suspend their 15-month-long agitation that had started to protest the three contentious farm laws passed in 2020.
Lakhimpur Kheri was the place where on October 4 half-a-dozen people, including farmers and a journalist, were mowed down by a speeding vehicle, allegedly belonging to the son of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Ajay Mishra Teni. The farmers have demanded action against Teni and his son, but no step has been taken yet.
The SKM also declared to extend support to the all-India strike by labour organisations on February 23 and 24 as their demands include MSP and also because the labour organisations had supported the farmers’ agitation.
Another important decision taken in the farmers’ review meeting is that the SKM will continue to be an apolitical forum.
“Those organisations that have declared to contest polls will not be part of SKM,” Tikait said.
Scores of organisations from Punjab that were part of SKM have declared to form political party/parties and contest polls in that state.
The farmers’ demand had included withdrawal of cases lodged against farmers during the course of the agitation and compensation to the families of martyred farmers during the same time.
The SKM had declared to hold this review meeting to decide about the future course of action for the agitation that was suspended after the three farm laws were repealed in December first week.