The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Monday alleged that the Centre “betrayed” farmers while the Yogi Adityanath government’s promises remained unfulfilled as it urged the farming community of Purvanchal to “punish the BJP” in the Uttar Pradesh polls.
The appeal was made during a press conference of the SKM, an umbrella body of over 200 farmers’ groups which had led the anti-farm law protests against the Centre, in Basti district in the state’s eastern region as part of its “Mission UP” campaign.
The SKM stressed it was an apolitical group which is not telling people whom or which party to vote for but was only asking voters in Uttar Pradesh to “punish anti-farmer BJP” like it had done in the last West Bengal state polls.
“This is a government that has not fulfilled any promise and must be taught a lesson. It’s an emergent situation. We do not fight elections in Samyukta Kisan Morcha because that is not our work. Normally we do not intervene in polls, too,” SKM leader Yogendra Yadav said.
He claimed this government, which has betrayed farmers, believes that the SKM has called off protests and the farmers will not return for demonstrations so it does not matter anymore what promises were made and they are not bothered.
“We are here to tell the government that all this affects farmers and they are bothered. They think farmers have forgotten (Union Minister) Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’. We are here to tell them, that farmers remember all this,” Yadav said, referring to the Lakhimpur violence of October 3, 2021 in which four farmers were mowed down allegedly by an SUV of the Union minister’s son.
SKM leaders have been touring Uttar Pradesh in the midst of an intense assembly election, making a pitch among farmers against the BJP over a host of reasons. Five rounds of voting have been completed in the state while the last two phases are scheduled on March 3 and 7, during which the eastern part, also known as the Purvanchal region, goes to polls.
Yadav claimed the BJP had come to power in UP in 2017 with a promise to the Purvanchal region of buying “daana daana” (every single grain) from farmers but claimed that the government never procured more than 30 per cent of the produce.
“We are here to appeal to the farmers of Basti, of Purvanchal to punish the BJP. Do it not only hoping that this will rectify the BJP but also to ensure anyone who sits on the chair after BJP would remember this lesson that farmers would punish anyone who does not fulfil promises,” Yadav said.
Asked which party to vote for if farmers’ future has to be secured, Yadav, also the leader of the Swaraj Abhiyan, said the SKM is not advocating in favour of any outfit but only drawing attention to the BJP’s anti-farmer policies and actions. (PTI)