All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), a coalition of 184 farmer organisations, will begin a nationwide campaign to ensure minimum support price (MSP) for farmers' produce. The decision was taken at the end of a two-day Kisan Mukti Sansad, a mock-parliament, in New Delhi on November 20 and 21. Over 50,000 farmers from across the country had congregated in Delhi to be part of the event.
The AIKSCC officer bearers said the mock parliament saw the passage of two Bills - Farmer's Freedom From Debt Bill and Guaranteed Remunerative Price for Farm Produce Bill - by 545 women who represented the Parliamentarians. These draft legislations will now be presented in the Parliament as private bills by Raju Shetty, an MP from Maharashtra and an active leader of the AIKSCC. "AIKSCC will get back to the farmers across the country for their feedback on the Bills before presenting it as Private Bills in the Parliament," a spokesperson of the coalition said.
There is no precedence of Indian Parliament legislating a private member's Bill, except on one occasion. However, AIKSCC hopes to make this a political agenda to compel established political parties to reveal where they stand in terms of farmers' interest. The Kisan Mukti Sansad started after the completion of Kisan Mukti Yatra of more than 10 thousand kilometers by AIKSCC in 19 states. The Sansad paid tribute to the farmers martyred in Mandsaur and other police firings, farmers who had committed suicide, and to farmers of Yavatmal, who died due to pesticide poisoning.
While addressing the women's parliament, noted social activist Medha Patkar said this is a historic moment when women from all over the country have gathered for putting forward the bill to Kisan Mukti Sansad, aimed at bettering lives of farmers, peasants, farm workers, adivasis, landless, tenant farmers and fishworkers. She said that the government has displaced more than 10 crore farmers all over the country, including farmers of the Narmada Valley, without rehabilitation. Putting forward the need of an alternative development policy, she declared the current policy disastrous for farmers, workers and others.
AIKSCC's country wide campaign will begin from Bardoli in Gujarat on November 26, the day Indian constitution was finalised, and end on January 26, the day when the constitution was approved, the leaders said.
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