SKM and state level farmers organisations of Karnataka today organised Samyukta Kisan Panchayat at Bangalore. A Charter of Demands containing urgent demand of farmers was released at the Panchayat and presented to the major political parties of Karnataka, JDS and Congress, whose leadership were invited to and attended the Panchayat. The leadership of BJP, though invited, did not turn up.
After detailed discussion and deliberation, the Kisan Panchayat issued an unanimous clarion call to Defeat anti-farmer, anti-people communal BJP in the upcoming polls.
Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) | Press Release – 26th April, 2023
FARMERS BODIES AT SKM’S “SAMYUKTA KISAN PANCHAYAT” AT BANGALORE RELEASE FARMERS’ CHARTER OF DEMANDS & GIVE CALL TO DEFEAT BJP IN KARNATAKA ASSEMBLY ELECTION*
Bangalore, 26th April, 2023:
SKM and prominent state level farmers organisations of Karnataka today organised Samyukta Kisan Panchayat at Bangalore which was attended by over 200 farmer leaders and activists from more than 20 organisations. Senior national leaders of SKM, Shri Hannan Mollah, Shri Yogendra Yadav, Smt. Kavitha Kuruganti and Shri Avik Saha addressed the Panchayat. The Panchayat began with a homage ceremony to Martyred Farmers who have sacrificed their lives in various struggles of farmers to get their rights and dues.
A *Charter of Demands* containing 15 demands and 1 special and immediate demand of Farmers of Karnataka was released at the Panchayat. Some of the key demands included:
- Repeal of anti-farmer laws enacted by the BJP government in 2019-2020, such as the Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, APMC Amendment Act and the Prevention of Cattle Slaughter Act.
- Continuation of power subsidy given to farmers even if the central government brings in a law on privatisation of the sector.
- Enactment of a new law to legally guarantee realisation of remunerative prices by all farmers for all agricultural commodities.
- Adequate compensation to farmers for the various losses being suffered due to numerous disasters through effective disaster relief and crop insurance mechanisms set up by the government.
- Enactment of Farmers’ Freedom from Indebtedness Act to ensure that farmers and agricultural workers do not experience distress under the weight of debts and commit suicides due to agricultural losses. The government should also waive off all outstanding farm loans of farmers.
- Scrapping of amendments brought in by the BJP government to the Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act (LARR) 2013. No land should be acquired against the wishes of farmers.
An Immediate and special demand was raised that the state government should immediately drop the anti-farmer measures of merging Nandini with Amul or allowing Amul to compete with Nandini in Karnataka. Nandini is a conglomeration of more than 15 thousand Milk producers cooperatives involving more than 60 lakh farmers families. Government should not venture to help the giant corporate company of Ambani.
The Charter of Demands was presented to the major political parties of Karnataka, JDS and Congress, whose leadership were invited to and attended the Panchayat. Though invited, leadership of BJP did not turn up. The leaders of political parties gave solemn promise to include the farmers demands in their election manifestos.
In view of the upcoming Karnataka Assembly Elections where anti-farmer BJP is a major contestant, the Panchayat discussed the role that can and should be played by farmers organisations and after detailed discussion and deliberation, *a unanimous clarion call to Defeat anti-farmer, anti-people communal BJP in the upcoming polls* was given. All organisations agreed to take this message to the grassroots level through door-to-door campaign and other means of communication.
The Kisan Panchayat was attended by many farmer leaders including Shri GC Bayyareddy of KPRS, Badagalapura Nagendra of KRRS, HR Basavarajappa of KRRS, Deepak Lamba of Jai Kisan Andolan, Dr Prakash Kammaradi (veteran agriculture scientist), Shri Noor Sridhar of Karnataka Janashakthi.
*Media Cell | Samyukt Kisan Morcha*