Skip to main content

Gujarat's top non-political farmers' body to hold anti-BJP 14 day motorbike campaign starting November 17

Rahul Gandhi interacting with KSG farmers on Nov 3
By Our Representative
In a major boost to the Congress, the top non-political farmers' organization, Khedut Samaj Gujarat (KSG), has thrown its weight behind the Congress, declaring on Wednesday that it would take out 2,000 km long motorbike rally from South Gujarat's Bhilad to North Gujarat's Amirgadh via Saurashtra to campaign for the "ouster" of the BJP government in the state.
"Farmers form 52% of the electorate, and they are extremely unhappy the manner in which the state BJP rulers have treated them", Sagar Rabari, who heads the KSG, told newspersons in Ahmedabad. "Our 14-day rally will start on November 17", he said, adding, "About 100 motorbikes will move from one place to another, addressing farmers' meetings, and asking them not to vote for the BJP which has ruled the state for 22 years."
Rabari's open opposition to BJP follows a KSG-sponsored well-attended dialogue, in which hundreds of farmers directly interacted with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on November 3 in Valsad, South Gujarat.
"While Gandhi gave us time for interaction, where farmers put forward their demands, when we approached BJP president Amit Shah for a similar discussion, our KSG leaders were put under house arrest. I had to talk with the Election Commission office to ensure their release", he said.
The major demands put forward by KSG before Gandhi included abrogation of the Gujarat land acquisition law, which seeks to undermine consent and social impact assessment clauses of the 2013 land acquisition Act of the Centre, and abrogation of the Special Investment Region law, which seeks to impose town planning norms on agricultural land by imposing a 50% land acquisition in the name of infrastructure development.
"We sought firm assurance from Gandhi that he would allow farmers' right to protest by taking out rallies and dharnas, something denied to us by the BJP rulers, and he readily agreed that the basic democratic rights of the people cannot be violated in any manner", Rabari said, adding, "Other demands included 24 hour power and debt waiver".
Rabari further said, "We have concrete example on how waters from the Narmada dam meant for irrigation is being diverted to industry. The Vallabhipur branch canal of the Narmada project has a capacity of receiving 2,200 cusecs of water. However, it receives just 900 cusecs."
"Worse, of this, the farmers get only 500 cusecs of the canal waters for irrigation, while the rest is claimed to be diverted as drinking water," he said, adding, "We suspect that the water is being diverted to industry, to different state-owned industrial estates operating in the region. This should stop immediately."
KSG has been in the forefront in the struggle against special investment regions (SIRs), leading to downsizing or completely put off the decision for having SIRs.
Rabari clarified, "Our decision not to vote for the BJP does not mean that, if the Congress comes to power, we will stop fighting for farmers' cause. On the contrary, our struggle for farmers will continue."

Comments

TRENDING

New Odia CM's tribal heritage 'sets him apart' from Hindutva Brahminical norms

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Mohan Charan Majhi took the oath as the new Chief Minister of Odisha following the electoral defeat of the BJD led by Naveen Patnaik, who served as Chief Minister for twenty-four years. The new Chief Minister is the son of a security guard and a four-time MLA who hails from the remote village of Raikala in the Keonjhar district. He belongs to the Santali tribe and comes from a working-class family. Such achievements and political mobilities are possible only in a democratic society. Majhi’s leadership even in the form of symbolic representation in a democracy deserves celebration.

AMR: A gathering storm that threatens a century of progress in medicine

By Bobby Ramakant*  A strategic roundtable on “Charting a new path forward for global action against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)” was organised at the 77th World Health Assembly or WHA (WHA is the apex decision-making body of the World Health Organization – WHO, which is attended by all countries that are part of the WHO – a United Nations health agency). AMR is among the top-10 global health threats “Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a growing and urgent crisis which is already a leading cause of untimely deaths globally. More than 2 people die of AMR every single minute,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO. “AMR threatens to unwind centuries of progress in human health, animal health, and other sectors.”

What stops Kavach? Why no time to focus on common trains meant for common people?

By Atanu Roy  A goods train rammed into Kanchenjunga Express on 17th June morning in North Bengal. This could have been averted if the time tested anti-collision system (Kavach) was in place. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Top Punjab Maoist who failed to analyse caste question, promoted economism

By Harsh Thakor*  On June 15th we commemorated the 15th death anniversary of Harbhajan Singh Sohi or HBS, a well known Communist leader in Punjab. He expired of a heart attack in Bathinda in 2009.

Ram Teri Ganga Maili: How to maintain ethics in a polluted environment?

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  Is the holy Ganges getting more polluted every day? In addition to daily rituals, bathing, and religious activities performed on its banks, since ancient times, the new age industrial and population pressures are increasingly polluting the holy river. Over the decades a number of government schemes, rules and regulations to purify the Ganges have met with limited success.