RSS-affiliated BKS warns govt of trouble if farmers demand not met on time

The Bhartiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), affiliated to the RSS, on Monday warned that states and the Centre would face trouble if their four major demands were not met as soon as possible.

The demands are fixing a profitable rate of return over production cost for all crops and ensuring its implementation; abolishing goods and services tax (GST) on types of agricultural equipment; hike in quarterly instalments paid under the PM-KISAN scheme; and revoking the “environmental” clearance granted to GM mustard recently.

“We are trying to make the Central government aware of our troubles at various levels; but it seems the government is not able to understand the rights of the farmers. If this continues then the farmers will be forced to adopt their own ways to make the government accept their demands,” BKS General Secretary Mohini Mohan Mishra said at the rally.

“The attendance (at Ramilia Ground) of such a large number of farmers from across India is testimony to the fact that while farmers are capable of writing a bright future for themselves, they are also capable of overturning any dark chapter in their history,” Mishra said.

The rally, which was among the biggest congregations of farmers after the year-long agitation on Delhi borders against the now repealed three farm laws, was attended by 50,000-60,000 persons (the organisers say) from states including Punjab, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, who reached Delhi on tractors, motorcycles and buses, braving extreme cold.

Later the BKS sent a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, highlighting the demands.

Meanwhile, farmers told PTI they were ready to intensify the protests if the government did not meet their demands within three months.

Dilip Kumar, a farmer from Madhya Pradesh, said GST on farm machinery, pesticides, and fertilisers should be removed.

The government has even imposed a 5 per cent tax on dairy farming for no reason. Moreover, Rs 6,000 under the Kisan Samman Nidhi is nothing but disrespect for farmers.

It should be at least Rs 15,000, he said.

Pramod from Maharashtra’s Raigad accused the government of imposing GST on farmers and providing subsidies to companies.

“They charge GST even on seeds. At least something should be done about it. The pension they provide is a joke. How can one sustain one’s family with just Rs 6,000? (Union Agriculture Minister) Narendra Tomar has said it would be increased to Rs 12,000 but even that is not enough,” he said.

Earlier, the BKS, which claims to be the largest organised grouping of farmers, has done awareness campaigns in around 60,000 villages across the country over the past three months on farmer-centric issues.

Padyatras, cycle rallies, street-corner meetings, etc were organised for several months to make farmers aware of the issues and prepare for Monday’s nationwide rally.

Main Demands

  • Ensure profitable rate of return over the cost of production for all crops
  • Abolish GST on all agricultural equipments
  • Increase the amount distributed under PM-KISAN significantly
  • Withdraw the ‘environmental’ approval given to GM mustard by GEAC

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