As the ongoing farmers' agitation in and around Delhi enters its tenth month, the end continues to remain out of sight. With no resolution being offered to ease in the deadlock between the protesters and the Central government, farmers from various came together in a massive meeting in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar on Sunday. The 'Kisan Mahapanchayat' comes mere months before the crucial Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.
Organised by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, it was held at the Government Inter College ground and saw a substantial turnout. The farmers, including women carrying flags of different organisations and wearing different coloured caps, were seen arriving at the venue in buses, cars and tractors.
Bharatiya Kisan Union media in-charge Dharmendra Malik said farmers belonging to 300 organisations spread across different states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka, among others, have gathered for the event. Over 5,000 langars, he added, had been set up for the participants. A number of medical camps have also been set up in the vicinity.
Speaking at the event, many farmers reiterated their resolve to continue to the agitation. Farm leader Rakesh Tikait who has been at the helm of the lengthy agitation was also in attendance According to reports quoting the Bharatiya Kisan Union chief, the farmers' groups would discuss strategies for the continuation of their agitation.
As one tweet by the Kisan Ekta Morcha handle put it, the farmers had given a "call for war" against the BJP and corporates. For the uninitiated, the farmers have been protesting against the passage of three newly enacted laws. They have demanded a repeal of the laws which they are afraid will do away with the MSP system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.
The rally was also attended by members of political parties including the Rashtriya Lok Dal. Party chief Jayant Chaudhry had earlier sought permission from the district authorities to allow sprinkling of flowers from a helicopter on the mahapanchayat in honour of the agitating farmers. This was however denied, with officials citing security reasons.
Meanwhile, Congress leaders including Priyanka Gandhi have lent their support to the agitation. "Farmers are the voice of this country. Farmers are the pride of the country. There is no arrogance of any power in front of the farmers' voice. The whole country is with the farmers in the fight to save agriculture and demand the right to their hard work," reads a rough translation of her Hindi post.
(With inputs from agencies)