FARMERS GROUP, ANNA HAZARE PLAN JOINT STIR

Farmers group Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh (RKM) plans to join hands with anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare for a joint nationwide agitation from January 30. Farmer leaders and Mr. Hazare are expected to formally announce their plans in Delhi on Monday.

“We have five demands: the establishment of a Lokpal and Lokayuktas; full implementation of the MS Swaminathan commission’s recommendations; complete farm loan waiver; minimum support prices for vegetables, fruits and milk; and a pension of ₹5000 per month for farmers,” said RKM spokesperson Abhimanyu Kohar.

The RKM is led by Shiv Kumar Sharma, the activist better known as Kakkaji, who was a key player behind recent farmer strikes and the wave of protests in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur district, where six farmers were killed in police firing in June 2017. He founded the platform of 182 farmer groups after he was sacked from the RSS-backed Bhartiya Kisan Sangh.

Mr. Hazare, a social activist best known for the mass protests against corruption in 2011, recently announced his plans to fast from Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary, as the Centre had failed to implement the Lok Pal and Lok Ayuktas Act, 2013.

He said he wrote 32 letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi but had not got any reply so far.