“The support of political parties and leaders to this movement is welcomed, but in no case, the SKM’s stage will be allowed for political leaders,” said Darshan Pal, farmer leader and one of the working group members of the Morcha.
Though it has been the stand of the SKM right from the beginning ever since they gathered on Delhi borders on November 26 last year, farmer leaders on condition of anonymity shared that they cannot outrightly tell the political leaders not to come at protest sites at a time when their support is actually needed to make the agitation a pan-India movement. They also privately recognised the importance of the left parties-linked farm organisation, All India Kisan Sabha, in carrying forward this movement with the help of the group’s ground-level cadre.
“The leader of any political party is not allowed to speak from any stage of SKM,” said Darshan Pal. His remarks could be seen as an attempt by the Morcha to guard the movement from allegations of it being funded by political parties and carried out at their behest.
Turnout for Covid vaccination slightly improved on Thursday when the government permitted frontline workers like Delhi Police personnel, civil defence personnel and sanitation workers besides healthcare workers to get the shots. The overall turnout was 51.8% as 9494 people out of 18300 expected across 183 vaccination centres turned out to get the jab.
The UN Security Council on Thursday expressed deep concern over the declaration of the state of emergency in Myanmar by the military and called for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political leaders arbitrarily detained by the military.
“This movement is completely farmers movement and we oppose all the baseless allegations against the farmers,” said Darshan Pal on behalf of the SKM.
Fifteen MPs including SAD’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal, NCP’s Supriya Sule, DMK’s K Kanimozhi and Tiruchi Siva, TMC’s Saugata Roy, and leaders from RSP, IUML and National Conference on Thursday visited Ghazipur. They were, however, not allowed by the police to cross the barricades and reach the protesting farmers who were gathered on the other side of the fence at the protest site.
“Today 15 MPs representing different political parties from Kashmir to Kanyakumari went to Ghazipur Border to express solidarity with farmers and demand immediate repeal of the three hated farm laws. We also demand an end to atrocities being meted out to peacefully agitating farmers,” tweeted Badal who was the Union minister in the current NDA government before her party left the Alliance in protest against the farm laws in September last year.
Many of the political leaders including Rashtriya Lok Dal’s (RLD) Jayant Chaudhary, Delhi deputy chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut earlier visited the Ghazipur protest site and met the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on different days in the past six days.