Lakhs of farmers headed to Delhi for ‘kisan mahapanchayat’ on Monday: SKM
Addressing a press conference here, SKM leader Darshan Pal said, “The Centre must fulfil the assurances it gave to us in writing on December 9, 2021 and also take effective steps to mitigate the ever-increasing crisis faced by farmers.”
The SKM spearheaded an over a year-long agitation against the Centre’s now-repealed farm laws. It suspended the movement in December 2021 following a government assurance to consider the farmers’ pending demands, including the withdrawal of cases lodged against farmers during the agitation and a legal guarantee for MSP. The SKM has also urged the centre to dissolve the committee on MSP that was constituted by the Centre, alleging that it is contrary to the demands of the farmers.
Farmers’ demands also include pension, debt waiver, compensation for those who died during the farmers’ stir and withdrawal of the Electricity Bill.
“The Electricity Amendment Bill, 2022 referred to the JPC should be withdrawn. The Centre had given a written assurance that the bill will be introduced in Parliament only after discussion with the SKM but despite this, it introduced the bill,” the SKM statement said.
It also reiterated the demand for free power for agricultural purposes and 300 units for rural households.
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Posters in Hindi, English and all other regional languages are being put up in 22 states across the country. Rai said that from April 10, similar posters would be put up at universities across the nation to make students aware about the campaign.
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BJP steps up OBC outreach to sway Nitish Kumar’s Luv-Kush base
Luv-Kush is the alliance between the Kurmi and Koeri castes, which together constitute approximately 15 % of the state population. Nitish Kumar a Kurmi himself, had garnered the support of this caste alliance, to take on the Muslim-Yadav alliance of his once staunch rival Lalu Prasad Yadav.
“The BJP is organising a big public programme to mark the birth anniversary of Samrat Ashoka, whom Khushwahas see as their ancestor. Now, the Luv-Kush alliance whom Kumar treated as his bonded labourers, will now go with BJP, worshippers of Lord Ram,” Choudhary told ET.He said the genesis of Luv-kush alliance was to counter Yadav’s politics of appeasement.
Meanwhile, the BJP has appointed a new co-incharge for Bihar, Sunil Ojha from Gujarat who worked closely with the prime minister and was looking after the party’s work in eastern Uttar Pradesh, a region comprising Modi’s constituency Varanasi.
With Ojha’s appointment, there will be two key BJP functionaries — he and Bhikhubhai Dalsaniya, organisational secretary for BJP’s state unit — both from Gujarat and have worked with Modi for many years since his days as Gujarat chief minister. Ojha was relocated to Varanasi from Gujarat and registered as a voter from Modi’s constituency in 2018.”I was handling the party’s work in eastern Uttar Pradesh, which borders Bihar. So, the demography and social structure in both regions is the same,” Ojha told ET. Ojha’s appointment also came days after the appointment of the new state unit chief.
Bihar has always been an uphill task for the BJP dispensation, and has constantly been posing challenges for the party.
Now, ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP has redrawn its strategy with new state unit chief and incharges. The coming together of the JD(U) with RJD after parting ways with the BJP, poses a serious challenge for the BJP, as these two parties make caste equations unfavourable for the BJP.
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