Skip to main content

Compensate for demonetization loss or face farmers' ire during polls: Khedut Samaj warns Gujarat govt

Sagar Rabari (second from left) leading march to Gandhinagar
By Our Representative
Khedut Samaj Gujarat (KSG), the state’s non-political farmers’ organization, has demanded that the Gujarat government make a thorough assessment of the crop loss suffered by farmers due to demonetization, especially in horticultural and vegetable sectors, and compensate for them through a special package.
The demand has been made in a memorandum to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani following a 450-kilometre-long footmarch, which started at the historical Somnath temple on December 14, ending off Gandhinagar, the state capital, on Monday.
Led by Sagar Rabari, KSG leader, around 1,800 farmers’ representatives participated on the last leg of the footmarch. Most of them belonged to the Saurashtra region of Gujarat, from Gir, Junagadh, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Surendranagar districts. Farmers from Ahmedabad, North Gujarat and North Gujarat districts too joined in.
During the footmarch, farmers at several villages are said to have pointed towards how demonetization has compounded their difficulties at the height of the sowing season, leading to “extreme frustration and anger”.
Other issues in the memorandum, which is based on meetings with thousands villagers during the footmarch, included dropping various legislative actions of the Gujarat government that undermined the farmers’ land rights. The latest in the series is amendment to the Land Acquisition Act (LAA), 2013, which abandons LAA’s social impact assessment and consent clauses.
During the footmarch – which passed through Dholera SIR – Magsaysay award-winning Gandhian social worker Sandeep Pandey, Rakesh Maheria and Bhupat Solanki of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Andolan, Vimlaben Kharadi of the Adivasi Yuva Vikas Sangathan, consultant Persis Ginwalla, social activist Jimmy Dabhi, economist Rohit Shukla, and well-known Gandhian campaigner Indukumar Jani participated.
The memorandum asks the state government to also abrogate the Special Investment Region (SIR), Act, 2009, which is being used by the state government to set aside 50 per cent of the farmers’ land in the name of urban infrastructure, and the Drainage an Irrigation Act, which seeks to divert water, meant for farmers, to industry.
Asking the state government to stop land acquisition in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, the memorandum echoes farmers’ concern to stop decommanding areas which come under the Narmada irrigation area and diverting them to industry, even as stop increasing irrigation rates for farmers.
Seeking compensation to the tune of Rs 50,000 per acre because of crop loss, instead of just Rs 15,000-20,000, the memorandum reminds the chief minister that the farmers would get electricity for groundwater irrigation for 18 hours till 2003, which has now gone down to eight hours.
“We must get 24 hour irrigation”, the memorandum insists.
Marching in a file of two, the foormarchers were stopped by the police near village Tarapur on way to Gandhinagar, where they were told that the chief minister would not be available, and that an officer would receive the memorandum. They were assured a meeting with Rupani later this week.
After handing over the memorandum to a Rupani aide, Rabari told newspersons, “Ironically, the Vibrant Gujarat global business meet, to be held in Gandhinagar on January 10-12, is more important for the state government than farmers.”
He accused the government of listening to tycoons, who would discuss allocation of land and water, at the business meet but not farmers.
He warned, if the farmers’ were not met, they would employ the ultimate weapon in a democracy – franchise. “We will ask people to vote for anyone except the present regime which has worked to destroy farmers and agriculture”, Rabari said.

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".