Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal join thousands of farmers in protest march in Delhi

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Thousands of farmers staged a march on Delhi’s Parliament Street on Friday with their demands including debt relief and remunerative prices for their produce. These farmers arrived in Delhi’s Ramlila Ground on Thursday.

Photo: @scribe_prashant

They spent their night in the freezing cold of the national capital, but the adverse weather hasn’t dampened their spirit as they chanted slogans in favour of their rights. One of their songs read, “Ab haq ke bina bhi kya jeena, yeh jeene ke samaan nahi (Live has no meaning without rights).”

These farmers have travelled from states such as Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, to participate in the two-day Kisan March. Among those who arrived in Ramlila Ground to lift their morale was former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda. He was quoted by news agency ANI, “PM should personally take note of this. I would like to appeal to Union Govt to try to solve the problem. Farmers are awakened now. They know how to punish. No govt can survive without farmers.”

40-year-old Rita Devi from Lakhanpur in Bihar said that she had lost her land and home recently for the government to be able to construct a road. She told news agency PTI that she lost her single-room hut that accommodated her, her husband, eight children and also a goat and a couple of hens, when it was razed to the ground during the construction of a bypass road through her village.

“We have no land of our own to grow crops. There is no earning. And, now we don’t even have a house because of the bypass. How will we live?” she said.

Another farmer, 68-year-old Sauraaj Singh from Hapur in Uttar Pradesh, was quoted as saying, “There is no money for sugarcane. There is no electricity. Government has been talking about waiving off loans, but that hasn’t happened.”

Vijay Manjhi and Gorelal Ram from Nawada in Bihar agreed as he shared his own woes. “We are small time farmers with no land of our own. If the harvest dies because of insufficient rain, there is nothing we can do,” he was quoted by PTI.

Ram added, “Be it (Bihar Chief Minister) Nitish Kumar or (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi, this double engined government is a failure. They say a lot of things, but there is no ground work,” Manhjhi said, in agreement with the songs playing in the backdrop — “Mere voton ko janne ka haq hai, Kyun ek din bade bade vaade, Kyun paanch saal koi kaam nahi”.

Here are the live updates:

. The Farmers Protest: Thousands of farmers march to Parliament Street in the national capital with their demands from the government.

 

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