Over 1 lakh farmers, under the banner of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), a platform of 200 farmers’ groups, have gathered in the national capital for taking out a rally to Parliament.
The farmers have gathered to raise their demands including implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee, better Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their crops and loan waiver.
Farmers from across the country assembled at Ramlila ground yesterday (Thursday), where arrangements for them to sleep in tents were made.
The two-day Kisan March is witnessing farmers from all around the country, including Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
The AIKSCC has claimed that the two-day protest will be one of the largest congregations of farmers in the national capital.
A high security official told The Hindu that over 3,500 police personnel will be deployed on Friday when the farmers will begin their march from Ramlila Maidan to Parliament Street.
As many as 850 police personnel, up to the rank of sub-inspectors, will be deployed in the Central district. They will be augmented by the presence of 12 police companies, including two of women, comprising 75-80 personnel each, a police officer told The Hindu.
95 officers from the rank of inspectors up to additional deputy commissioners of police will also be on the ground to monitor the situation.
The farmers from Tamil Nadu, who staged protests at Jantar Mantar last year, have threatened to march naked if stopped from marching to Parliament.
Except the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), all other political parties have been invited to take part in the march.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, National Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, National Conference (NC) leader Farooq Abdullah, Loktantrik Janata Dal’s Sharad Yadav are expected to join the farmers in their march.
Swaraj India president and AIKSCC member Yogendra Yadav said on Tuesday, “Note-bandi (Demonetisation) and drought-handling policies show that the Modi government is not just displaying a lack of political will, but active hostility.”
“The farmers will ensure that a government that brought in notebandi will face vote-bandi (no-votes),” The Hindu had quoted joint secretary of the All-India Kisan Sabha Vijoo Krishnan as saying.