Home Minister Rajnath Singh met the farmer’s leaders and discussed their demands. Kisan Kranti Yatra by farmers demanding loan waivers, clearance of pending sugarcane payments and implementation of the Swaminathan Committee Report, among others arrived at Uttar Pradesh-Delhi border today. The police had to use water cannons and tear gas shells to disperse the protestors proceeding towards the barricades trying to pass the Delhi border.
National Highways leading to the national capital were swamped with farmers who came in from places as far as Gonda, Basti, and Gorakhpur in eastern Uttar Pradesh as well as the sugarcane belt of western Uttar Pradesh.
Thousands of farmers belonging to Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), led by Union leader Rakesh Tikait, began their Kisan Kranti March in Haridwar on September 23.
Kisan Kranti Padyatra: Rajnath Singh says police was not aggressive. It only defended itself against some aggressive protestors.
— ABP News (@abpnewstv) October 2, 2018
Among the demands put forward by the farmers, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations for faster and more inclusive growth for farmers topped the list. The implementation of the recommendations would result in reasonable MSP and small farmers would be secured.
The farmers also demanded that diesel tractors should be kept out of the ambit of National Green Tribunal directions. NGT mandated the removal of all diesel vehicles older than 10 years. Citing lack of funds to buy new tractors and trucks, the farmers have also asked for compensation.
Another demand includes a one-time complete loan waiver. Farmers have been unable to repay loan due to crop failures, droughts, floods, bumper crop or low MSP. The farmers also want assurance of a minimum income for farmers and a monthly pension of Rs 5,000 for small and marginal farmers who completed 60 years of age. They have also demanded rehabilitation of families of farmers who had committed suicide.
The farmers have asked for payment of pending sugarcane dues.
The rising petroleum and diesel prices have put an additional burden on the farmers and has reduced profit margins for the farmers. The farmers have also demanded uninterrupted power supply for at least six hours during noon.