KCR's Himalayan commitment to farmers' welfare

KCRs Himalayan commitment to farmers welfare

KCR said the BRS devised the slogan ‘Ab ki Baar Kisan Sarkar’ to specifically improve the lot of farmers and this requires unity among them. He elaborated at a Maharashtra farmers’ meeting that, “Apna Dang chahiye, Apna Rang chahiye and Apna Jung chahiye.” This is where he stressed on the importance of vote as a powerful weapon to elect a Kisan Sarkar. Referring to the earlier success of the ‘Shetkari Kamgar Party’ which had the history of winning 76 seats in Maharashtra, KCR expressed the hope that if there is a strong determination, BRS would win 200 seats this time

Despite the fact that the great and largest parliamentary democracy in the world, that is India, had 14 Prime Ministers since independence, who by and large represented either Indian National Congress or Bharatiya Janata Party, except for small terms in between, the fate of farmers has been consistently pathetic and neglected. This is the inference one can draw with the observation of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) national president and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao. If only, the powerful weapon, the vote, that is in their hands, could be exercised judiciously and, thereby, elect a 'Kisan Sarkar' or the farmers' government, the situation would be totally different from what it has been, said KCR emphatically. He opined that one must think big and out of box to compete with countries like Singapore, though a small one, which has turned into a financial capital while India despite its abundant natural resources is nowhere due to the leadership failure.

KCR who had a dedicated 50 years of his life to politics and movements that have all been fruitful, believes rightly that similar prolific results can be achieved by anyone who endeavours hard. "Seeing the plight of farmers in the country, now I shouldered another big movement. I raised the problems being faced by farmers everywhere in the country. I considered it as a farmers' fight. Hence, I have taken up this responsibility, that is, to fight for the cause of farmers," said KCR.

The platform was when many leaders of farmers' unions led by prominent leader Sharad Joshi Praneet, joined the BRS at Telangana Bhavan in Hyderabad on April 1, 2023. Several of them came all the way from Maharashtra to Hyderabad in large numbers to join BRS. In addition to farmer leader Sharad Joshi Praneeth, Sudhir Bindu, Kailas Tawar, Sharad Markad, and others joined BRS. KCR warmly welcomed them into BRS and addressed them on many issues being faced by people and mainly of farmers in the country, even after 75 years of independence.

KCR elaborating his observation and citing the Telangana Model Development, made it amply clear that, only leaders with a vision, dedication, and commitment to the welfare of farmers could address issues of India's agrarian community including those in Maharashtra and emphasized that "honesty in thought and sincerity in execution" is indispensable. He said that these were missing in the Governments that were in office during the past 75 years including the present BJP-led one. Thus, KCR indicated that, the time has ripe for a qualitative change and hence the need to bring the Farmers' Government, since the BJP-led Centre had gone wrong in addressing farmers' complaints and needs despite abundance of natural resources.

Tracing the history of farmers' struggles since 1935, right from the times of Sir Chhotu Ram, Mahendra Singh Tikait, Sharad Joshi, Chaudhary Charan Singh, Devilal and Chautala to the recent leader Gurnam Singh Charuni, KCR criticised that the fate of farmers remained the same. KCR also referred to the 13-month heroic struggle by farmers in New Delhi against the BJP's draconian farm laws leading to sacrifice of lives of 750 farmers and notwithstanding all this, PM Narendra Modi's enduring silence without uttering even a single word. KCR got emotional when he mentioned about sacrifice of lives of farmers protesting BJP-led NDA government's attitude.

CM KCR said that the farmers who were struggling genuinely were even stamped as terrorists, Khalistanis, separatists and Naxalites by the Union government. PM Modi's long silence amidst all these protests came to an end only after the announcement of elections for UP and Punjab because it was for his advantage. He, however, had to bow to the will of the people, apologise to the farmers, formally admitting his wrongdoing and withdraw the black farm laws, disclosed KCR. "I extended support to the farmers forcing the Union government to take a backseat and then to introduce the agriculture reforms bill because farmers' agitation and struggle are valid and protected under the Constitution," affirmed KCR. Thus, the three farm laws were withdrawn by the Narendra Modi government due to the intense pressure and the unrelenting fight from the farmers, as well as due to the fear of losing elections in UP and Punjab. However, though PM Modi withdrew the farm laws, he did not even shed a tear for the 750 farmers who died during the agitation, said KCR.

KCR said the BRS devised the slogan 'Ab ki Baar Kisan Sarkar' to specifically improve the lot of farmers and this requires unity among them. Elaborating on this slogan further, KCR told the farmers that, "Apna Dang chahiye, Apna Rang chahiye and Apna Jung chahiye." This is where he stressed on the importance of vote as a powerful weapon to elect a Kisan Sarkar. Referring to the earlier success of the 'Shetkari Kamgar Party' which had the history of winning 76 seats in Maharashtra, KCR expressed the hope that if there is a strong determination, BRS would win 200 seats this time. He called for the unification of farmers across the country, voicing confidence that they would emerge victorious if they work with sincerity.

Comparing agrarian scenario in Telangana and Maharashtra, KCR said when Telangana could successfully address farmers' issues and ensure that there were no more farmer suicides, why could this not be achieved in Maharashtra? Despite Maharashtra's huge budget, the fact that little attempt is made to ensure the welfare and development of farmers, is a clear indication that, "Dal Main kuch Kaala Hai" or "there is something black in the dish," suggesting that something is out of place, quipped KCR. He further mentioned how Telangana allocated adequate funds for schemes like Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bima, free power and water for the farming community.

Disclosing the central government statistics, KCR said out of paddy acreage in 94 lakh acres in the whole of the country, Telangana alone accounts for 56 lakh acres and this is made possible because all the reservoirs in the state are brimming with water. To have a personal experience of what has been happening in rural and urban areas in terms of development, KCR suggested that the farmers from Maharashtra visit the Kaleshwaram project and a few reservoirs and also to take up an extensive tour of Telangana to witness them. "Though there are no Himalayas in Telangana, commitment to the cause of farmers is as high as Himalayas," which enabled the all-round development in the state and his efforts now are to replicate the same model all over the country with BRS coming to power and with the support of farmers, said KCR.

In the brainstorming interaction that formed part of KCR's meeting with farmers later, he said that there cannot be a better and higher priority for any government be at the Centre or in the states than allocating enormous funds for the agriculture and farming sector if they have any foresight. He added that after all India is predominantly an agriculture-based country and, hence, farmers' welfare should be at the top of nation's agenda always. This is where one should understand that for the BRS government, farmers' welfare has always been the top priority. In the State Budget, allocations to other sectors were made only after finalising the funds for the agriculture and farming sector said KCR.

The BRS president desired that the farmers units, women's wings and youth and student wings in all constituencies should be established. In tune with establishing committees, village wings should also be set up. KCR further desired that the BRS party flag should be hoisted in all villages and the party's agenda should be taken to the people for widespread discussions. A day after this meeting, a delegation of farmers who joined BRS visited the Konda Pochamma, Mallanna Sagar projects, had a glimpse into Mission Bhagiratha functioning, some Rythu Vedikas, Integrated vegetable and meat markets etc. in the State. Highly impressed by green fields everywhere and reservoirs full with water, they had all praise for KCR and expressed the hope that in future similar development would take place all over the country under BRS and KCR.

Meanwhile, several leaders continued to join BRS who among others included Maharashtra Muslim Minority Leader Syed Abdul Qadir Maulana who is Vice President of NCP Party, Maharashtra Shiv Sena leader Dilip Gore from Beed district, State President of Maharashtra Sugarcane Farmers Association, Educationist Shivraj Janardhan Rao Bhangar and many leaders.

(The writer is Chief Public Relations Officer to Chief Minister, Telangana)

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