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Minimum Support Price satyagraha to start on Oct 8: NAPM completes Gujarat yatra to "save" constitution

By Our Representative
Top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM), which began the nationwide Samvidhan Samman Yatra on Gandhi Jayanti from Dandi, against “increased mob violence, hate crimes, casteist attacks, natural resource loot, and consistent attack on constitutional values”, completed its Gujarat leg on Thursday in Ahmedabad, announcing that it would launch a parallel Minimum Support Price (MSP) Satyagraha from October 8 to 12, 2018.
In a statement, NAPM said, farmers are fighting for fair remunerative prices for their produce as per the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations of keeping MSP through the formula of ‘C2+50%’, which provides for at least a 50% margin over the comprehensive cost of cultivation.
It said, “The Government of India is, however, playing many games on this MSP that farmers are legitimately demanding. After the government in its fourth year in power, that too in an election year, farmers’ hopes were dashed when it announced the Kharif 2018 MSP for various crops.”
It added, “While the prices were indeed a hike compared to the previous years of this government, the MSPs were not providing a 50% margin over comprehensive cost of production (C2) but were only meant to cover a deceitful suppressed cost definition used by the government (A2+FL, which is cost of production calculated at out-of-pocket expenses added to value of family labour, ignoring other legitimate cost components like land rental value).”
“The MSPs are lower to an extent of even Rs. 2000 per quintal in some crops, compared to what the MSP ought to have been, due to this latest cheating by the government”, NAPM said.
  Even as strongly condemning what it called “fresh MSP betrayal”, NAPM’s Samvidhan Samman Yatra – which will end in Delhi on December 10, the international human right day – saw Prafulla Samantara, alternative Green Nobel winner 2017, who led the yatra, said that the country has gone backwards to the British era under the current BJP rule.
Samantara accused the government of being “hell bent to destroy the spirit of our Constitution”, adding, “The Gujarat model, sold as the panacea to the whole country, stands exposed today after four years of the rule in Centre. We have travelled through Gujarat and everywhere the sort of despair and hardship for farmers and all we can say that Gujarat model is anti-farmer and anti-worker model.”
Those who participated in the yatra in Gujarat, apart from Samantara of the Lok Shakti Abhiyaan, Odisha, included Suhas Kolhekar (NAPM, Maharashtra), BR Patil (Karnataka), Dr Sunilam (Kisaan Sangharsh Samiti, Madhya Pradesh), and Nita Mahadev (Gujarat Lok Samiti, Gujarat).
Nita Mahadev said, “Whether it is Gujarat or any other state, everywhere environmental laws and democratic rights of the people are being changed or diluted for corporates. Farmers cultivating for the entire country, workers engaged in development of the country, Adivasis protecting the natural environment and forests, everyone is getting marginalized.”
Before reaching Ahmedabad, where the yatra participants held a press conference, it reached Bavla, 30 km away from Ahmedabad city, where the Ahmedabad Jilah Kisan Sangharsh Samiti has been fighting for irrigation water from Dharoi dam, something, its leaders said, they are not getting “in absence of canal networks.”
Addressing media, Anand Mazgaonkar of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Vadodara, said, “Gujarat is being tore apart by various projects in the name of development, caste and communal violence. This is the Gujarat model being imposed in the whole country. Mob lynching, communal riots, and loot of resources in all over the country are face of it.”
Gandhian intellectual Prakash Shah asked, “Where is the ‘Independence’ for that we fought for? What we are seeing today is a total opposite of our constitution and moving towards weakening, diluting the basis of our democracy.”
The Yatra travelling through Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Bharuch, Surat and other districts, hearing what people had to say about the bullet train, industrial corridor, riverfront development, Bhadbhut barrage, special economic zones, special investment regions, and water diversion from the Narmada command area to corporate houses.

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