Assembly Elections 2021: Farmers rejoice in saffron party's defeat in three of five state
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, rejoicing in the resounding defeat of the BJP in three of the five state elections, said on Monday the party had been taught a lesson by the farmers and workers of the country.
The Morcha, under whose banner some 500 farmer organisations from across the country are protesting against three farm laws brought by the Centre, said in a statement that the BJP had lost the Assembly elections because of the “heavy anger of farmers and workers of the nation”.
The BJP was soundly defeated in Bengal, an election where it had thrown all its might and which it had built up as a direct battle between Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee. It did not win a single seat in Kerala and was on the vanquished side in Tamil Nadu. The party won only in Assam and Puducherry, where it was the junior partner.
The Morcha statement said farmers have seen through the government plan of “ending the mandi system”, allowing corporate groups to build stocks without a limit and “the aspiration of the corporate to take over the lands of the farmers”. “Due to farmers not getting MSP and spreading lies in the name of MSP, farmers have shown their anger in these elections,” the statement added.
“At the same time, the labourers have also taught the BJP a lesson by casting the vote against them. Through the new Labour Codes, the government wants to impose a slavery system. The provision to increase the working time from 8 hours to 12 hours is not acceptable to the workers. The workers have voted against the BJP government’s intentions of shutting down the PDS scheme,” it said.
Some farmer leaders pointed out that the prolonged farmer protests against all odds, including the oppression of the State, had demolished the psychological barrier of the BJP being invincible. Farmers have been sitting at Delhi’s borders since November last year.
“Farmers showed the common people that it is possible to stand up to the ‘Mo-Sha’ (Modi-Shah) regime. Also, the Covid vaccination controversy made people realise that what is happening with vaccines now — where people have to pay for basic immunisation and pharma companies/hospitals allowed to fix their rates — could well happen with food once the farm laws become operational,’’ the Morcha said.
Under the Morcha’s call, farmers had campaigned against the BJP in all five election-bound states. They did not support any party but asked people to vote for the political party best positioned in their respective areas to defeat the BJP.
Farmer union leaders suggested that their proposed march to Parliament in the first fortnight of May might be put on hold because of the pandemic.
Though a final decision will be taken at a meeting on May 10, some union leaders The Telegraph spoke to said it would be foolhardy to continue with the march and create a possible super-spreader situation when the virus is on rampage and the health infrastructure is overwhelmed.
“It will be highly irresponsible on our part to do this, and also counterproductive as immediately the government and its agents would use it to malign the movement,’’ a union leader said.