Why RSS-Affiliated Bharatiya Kisan Sangh Protested At Delhi's Ramleela Grounds
The 'Kisan Garjana' rally demanded GST rollback, increased support under PM-Kisan and revocation of permission to GM crops.
Thousands of farmers held a rally in New Delhi under the banner of RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) on Monday (19 December).
They pressed for a rollback of GST (Goods and Service Tax) on agricultural goods and other demands and threatened to intensify their protest if these are not met.
The farmers travelled to Delhi from several states, including Punjab, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, on tractors, motorcycles and private buses.
The 'Kisan Garjana' rally was organised at the Ramleela Grounds where an increase in the income support provided under the PM-Kisan scheme, revocation of the permission for commercial production of genetically modified (GM) crops and remunerative prices for produce based on the input cost were also demanded.
The BKS, in a statement, said, "State and central governments will face trouble if they do not heed the farmers' demand in time".
National General Secretary of BKS, Mohini Mohan said, "The promises made by the prime minister regarding the rights of farmers have proved to be empty."
"The government promised an increase in the income of farmers, but this could not happen. Farmers are not beggars, they have the right to remunerative prices for their crops," he further said.
The BKS opposing the Modi government is not unprecedented as it had earlier come in opposition to the farm laws as well, which were eventually repealed.
The BKS said it ran a public awareness programme in over 60,000 villages in 560 districts across the country for four months before coming to Delhi. The announcement for the 19 December rally was made in October itself, it claimed.
Farmers believe that the income support of Rs 6,000 per year in three equal installments under the PM-Kisan scheme is not enough.
"How can someone run a family on Rs 6,000 or Rs 12,000 in the current situation?", Narendra Patidar from Madhya Pradesh's Indore told PTI.
"With the rising input cost and inflation, we don't make any profit. The government should pay attention to our problems. GST shouldn't be imposed on dairy farming either," he further said.
Another farmer from Madhya Pradesh, Dilip Kumar asked for "at least Rs 15,000" under Kisan Samman Nidhi. He also said that a 5 per cent tax on dairy farming is unreasonable.
Opposing the government clearance for the 'environmental release' of a genetically modified (GM) variety of mustard, protesters cited studies to say GM seeds are 'harmful' to people and future generations and farmers won't use them until the government provides them with reliable research data.
Kanchan Roy who came from West Bengal's Uttar Dinajpur told PTI that many have quit farming because they cannot bear the rising input costs.
Punjab farmer Surendra Singh said, "Farmers are also skilled labourers that much respect should at least be given to us."
(With inputs from PTI)
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