Farmer organizations to implement legal guarantee for MSP, recommendations of Swaminathan Commission, They are preparing for ‘Delhi Chalo’ march on 13 February for withdrawal of cases registered against farmers and other demands. Farmers are going from village to village and making announcements. Going door to door, collecting ration and necessary funds for the movement. This is the condition of many villages of Punjab. According to Resham Singh Yatri, General Secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Union Ekta Sidhpur, 6 months’ ration will be kept with every trolley on their behalf. An appeal was also made that one member from each household should join the morcha. From Bathinda itself, at least 500 farmers, youth, elderly and women will travel to Delhi in tractor trolleys, pickup vehicles and private vehicles. Farmers say that they are taking with them gas stove, cylinder, mattress, clothes, tarpaulin, langar ration like flour, salt, sugar, tea leaves, pulses etc. Will return only after getting our demands fulfilled. No matter how many obstacles the government puts in the path of farmers, they will reach Delhi in any case. According to the farmers, they have also made security arrangements for self-defense. There are also things with tractors that can be used to remove obstacles.
To stop the farmers’ march to Delhi on February 13, the Shambhu border between Punjab and Haryana in Ambala has been completely sealed by installing cement barricades. Gravel and cement have been placed between the barricades using nails. The bridge over Ghaggar river has also been closed. Excavation has been done inside the river, so that farmers cannot pass through it with tractors. Iron nails have been installed on the roads in Fatehabad. 12 contingents of CRPF and ARF have also been called in Ambala. The route of the road going from Patiala to Ambala in Punjab has been diverted. The National Highway going to Haryana was closed from one side on Saturday at Khanauri border in Sangrur. About 150 checkpoints have been installed in Haryana. Section 144 has been implemented in Sonipat, Jhajjar, Panchkula, Ambala, Kaithal, Hisar, Sirsa, Fatehabad, Jind. Mobile internet, bulk SMS and dongle services have been stopped in 7 districts (Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad, Sirsa) from 6 am on February 11 to 12 midnight on February 13. Meanwhile, Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda and Nityanand Rai will once again visit Chandigarh on February 12 to talk to farmer leaders.
In Fatehabad, all the main roads of the border areas located at Ratia, Jakhal and Tohana were closed with 6 layer security. Due to this, the district has been cut off from main roads with Punjab. Roadways bus traffic has stopped in Ratia and Tohana. There are preparations to seal Kundli border in Sonipat and Tikri border in Bahadurgarh. Cement barricades have also reached here. Meanwhile, arrest of farmer leaders has started. Police are raiding the houses of the leaders to put them under house arrest. At the same time, farmer organizations of Punjab have warned the Haryana government that if there is any pushback on 13th February, they will march to Delhi on 16th. Will close roads, trains and tolls.
The kind of preparations that the farmers’ organization and the government are making, it does not give the impression of a movement, but of a mutual war, as if both the classes have to fight a one-on-one battle. Despite such preparations, like the previous movement, farmers may be successful in reaching Delhi. In view of the Lok Sabha elections, the government will make every possible effort to avoid a conflict situation. The farmers will take every risk and try to make the march and the movement successful, because the farmers’ organizations also realize that due to the Lok Sabha elections to be held in 2024, the government will not follow the path of confrontation.
Let us assume that the farmers reach Delhi and are successful in blocking the roads, it will cause momentary loss to Haryana and the Central Government, but Punjab will have to face permanent loss, because in the rest of the country the work is going on peacefully. Will continue. Only the people of Punjab will have to face difficulties. Punjab will become the base of the movement. Due to the agitation, the daily life of Punjab will not only be affected but the investors in Punjab will also step back.
If Punjab does not progress industrially, its economic condition will be adversely affected and unemployment will also increase. To find employment, the youth of Punjab will be forced to migrate to other parts of the country or to Canada, Australia and other countries.
With increase in unemployment, crime and drug smuggling will also increase. Punjab is a border state. Agricultural production has reached its peak. The economic condition of Punjab can be improved only by promoting trade and industry, but due to the farmers’ movement, such a situation is being created that investors will be afraid to come and invest from outside. This situation is harmful for Punjab. Understanding this, farmers’ organizations should give priority to finding solutions to problems through dialogue.
The main reason for the development of Haryana and its economic strength, which was separated from Punjab in 1966, is political stability. The farmers there are also facing problems, but are maintaining peace in the state by keeping the interest of the state at the forefront. Farmer organizations of Punjab should also reconsider their march to Delhi and protest keeping the interest of Punjab in mind.
The government should seriously consider the reasonable demands of farmers related to agriculture and find a solution, conflict is not in anyone’s interest.
-Irwin Khanna, Editor-in-Chief, Dainik Uttam Hindu.