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Last Updated : Nov 30, 2018 05:52 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal join farmer protests in New Delhi, slam Modi govt over inaction

Around 35,000 farmers from across the country have come together at New Delhi's Ramlila Maidan to press for their demands, including debt relief and remunerative prices for their produce

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Tens of thousands of farmers, some carrying skulls of those who committed suicide, had marched towards Parliament demanding loan waivers and better prices for their produce, NDTV reported. The protesters are being backed by opposition politicians, including Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, Sharad Pawar, HD Deve Gowda and others.

4:17pm: 

4.03 pm: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal now addresses the farmers. "The Modi government has cheated the farmers. They are abandoned and forgotten. Farmers are not beggars, they are seeking what is rightfully theirs. The Jai Kisan slogan has been forgotten," he said.

3.57 pm: "If the loans of industrialists can be waived off, then the debt of farmers must be waived off as well. I assure the farmers of India, we are with you, don't feel afraid. Aapki shakti ne is desh ko banaya hai," said Gandhi at farmers’ protest in Delhi.

3.54 pm: "The Modi government has looted farmers to fill the pockets of his industrialist friends... This government favours the rich, not the kisan. The farmers are asking for their rights, and the Congress will stand beside all of them and will not rest till their demands and needs are fulfilled," the Congress President said.

3.50 pm: Rahul Gandhi addresses farmers at Parliament Street. "Farmers and youth are being ignored by the government, while loans of multi-millionaires are being waived off," he says.


3.24 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi to address protesting farmers in New Delhi

3.16 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will be addressing the farmer's protest at  New Delhi today at 4pm, CNN-News 18 has reported.

What has happened so far:

Earlier in the day, farmers were denied permission by the police to march to the Parliament house.

Around 35,000 farmers from across the country have converged near Parliament Street Police station in the national capital, where their leaders addressed the protesters.

The national secretary of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), Asish Mittal, said farmers from 24 states have also joined the protest to press for their demands, including debt relief and remunerative prices for their produce.

The farmers, who have been camping at the Ramlila ground here since November 29, began their march to Parliament Street around 10.30 am today, amid heavy policy deployment.

They were stopped near Parliament Street police station, after which they assembled there.

Over 3,500 police personnel have been deployed on the route of the march. According to a senior police officer, special arrangements have been made in Central and New Delhi police districts.

Farmers from different parts of the country, including Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh converged at the Ramlila ground on November 29.

Banded under the AIKSCC, which claims to be an umbrella body of 207 organisations of farmers and agricultural workers, many farmers arrived in the city on trains, buses and other modes of transport.

About 1,200 members of the National South Indian River Interlinking Agriculturalists Association reached the national capital in the early hours of November 29 carrying skulls of two of their colleagues who had committed suicide, their leader P Ayyakannu said.

The group from Tamil Nadu had threatened to march naked if they are not allowed to go to Parliament on Friday. They had last year staged protests at Jantar Mantar with the skulls of eight farmers who killed themselves owing to losses.

The AIKSCC has claimed that the two-day rally will be one of the largest congregations of farmers in Delhi.

Five Gurdwaras in the Delhi region have extended their help to the farmers. Also, students from various universities turned out in large numbers to lend support to the farmers. The protest also saw participation of a number of women farmers who travelled from various parts of the country.

Volunteers, including doctors, lawyers, professors and artists, all came out in large numbers to help the farmers. Around 600-700 volunteers of a solidarity group 'Nation For Farmers' marched with the protesters from the four assembly points.

The AIKSCC was formed under the aegis of All India Kisan Sabha and other Left-affiliated farmers' bodies in June, 2017, following protests by farmers in states such as Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh for debt relief and remunerative prices.
First Published on Nov 30, 2018 04:08 pm
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