Farmers protest 2024 in which over 200 farmer unions will be marching to Delhi on Tuesday has been called by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (non-political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha. The Delhi Chalo march was announced in December 2023 demanding a legal guarantee of MSP, implementation of the Swaminathan formula etc. As this protest serves as a reminder of the farmers’ protest that continued for a year on Delhi borders forcing the government to withdraw three farm laws, a lot has changed in the farmers’ unions. Samyukt Kisan Morcha and Bharatiya Kisan Union which spearheaded the 2020 protest are not at the forefront now.
Samyukt Kisan Morcha (non-political)
It is a faction of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha which was formed in November 2020 to lead the first farmers’ protest in Delhi. It distanced from the main SKM while the SKM saw many splinter groups in 2022. This faction led by Jagjit Singh Dallewal maintained that they are non-political.
Kisan Mazdoor Morcha
Kisan Mazdoor Morcha is led by Sarwan Singh Pandher. This organisation was not a part of the 2020 protest. On Tuesday, Pandher said this farmers’ protest is not political. The protesters are not backed by the Congress contrary to what is being said. “We blame the Congress as much as the BJP. Neither do we support the Left. What revolution has come in West Bengal where the Left ruled for so many years? We are not in favour of any political party,” Pandher said.
Where is Rakesh Tikait? Where are SKM and Bharatiya Kisan Union?
The SKM has distanced itself from the Delhi Chalo march but condemned how an atmosphere of terror has been created to frighten people.
SKM and other central trade unions have given a call for a nationwide strike and rural bandh on February 16.
“SKM urges PM Modi to clarify why his government is not ready for discussion with the platforms of farmers and workers in the context of the countrywide Grameen Bandh and Industrial/ Sectoral Strike call on February 16 on the demands of people’s livelihood?” SKM said.
Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait (Bharatiya Kisan Union) is also sitting this Delhi Chalo protest out but will support the Bharat bandh on February 16. “We have called for a ‘Bharat bandh’ on February 16. Several farmers’ groups are part of it, including the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM). Farmers should also not go to their farms on that day and strike work. Earlier also farmers skipped the day of ‘Amavasya’ from working on the fields. Likewise, February 16 is ‘Amavasya’ only for farmers. They should not work that day and resort to ‘agriculture strike’. This will send a big message in the country,” Tikait said earlier.