All India Krishak Sabha (AIKS), the peasant wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), held a rally in Kolkata on Tuesday, where they blamed the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal and the BJP government at the Centre for agrarian distress. The leaders of AIKS also expressed concern over alleged ‘agrarian suicides’ in the State.
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AIKS Blames Trinamool Congress and BJP for Agrarian Distress
During the rally, AIKS president Ashok Dhawle stated that members of the Krishak Sabha had visited Bardhaman and Medinipur and met with the families of farmers who had allegedly died by suicide. Mr. Dhawle emphasized that the Krishak Sabha had demanded a minimum support price (MSP) of ₹1000 per quintal for potatoes in West Bengal. However, the West Bengal government fixed the MSP at ₹600 and did not purchase a single kilogram of potato. AIKS leaders further highlighted that most of the farmers who died by suicide were potato farmers.
AIKS Demands Justice for Farmers’ Families
Responding to these distressing circumstances, an AIKS Central Office Bearers team visited Bhadurala of Salboni block in West Medinipur district on September 18th. The purpose of this visit was to meet the widows and families of Left martyrs killed by the TMC-Maoist combine, as well as the families of potato farmers who recently died due to the crash in potato prices. AIKS expressed their solidarity with these affected families and condemned the violence that occurred during the panchayat polls, stating that the panchayats have become corrupt.
Agrarian Distress in West Bengal Remains a Concern
AIKS leaders from West Bengal have frequently raised the issue of agrarian distress and farmer deaths. However, the Trinamool Congress government has denied the occurrence of any farmer deaths due to agrarian distress in the State.
AIKS Questions West Bengal Government’s MSP for Paddy
Vijoo Krishnan, AIKS general secretary, raised concerns about the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy. He questioned why the West Bengal government offers only ₹1200 per quintal of paddy when the Left Front government can provide ₹2850 per quintal. Mr. Krishnan criticized both West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for disregarding the challenges faced by farmers and making a mockery of their plight.
AIKS Calls for Countrywide Protests
In light of the ongoing issues faced by farmers, AIKS leadership has called for protests across the country outside Raj Bhawans from November 26th to 28th later this year. The aim of these nationwide protests is to draw attention to the challenges farmers are facing and to demand justice and support from the government.
For those struggling or feeling suicidal, help and counseling are available through the State’s health helpline: 2463 7401 / 2463 7432
The All India Krishak Sabha (AIKS) rally in Kolkata showcased the organization’s concern over agrarian distress and alleged ‘agrarian suicides’ in West Bengal. AIKS leaders blamed both the Trinamool Congress government and the BJP government at the Centre for the challenges faced by farmers. They also highlighted the need for a higher minimum support price (MSP) for potatoes and questioned the West Bengal government’s MSP for paddy. In response to these issues, AIKS called for countrywide protests to raise awareness and demand support for farmers. It is crucial for authorities to address the distressing situation faced by farmers in West Bengal and provide the necessary assistance to ensure their well-being.