Express News Service
Posted online: Thursday, March 22, 2007
NEW DELHI, MARCH 21: The UPA government was reaching out to Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Mahendra Singh Tikait as it met the kisan leader who was camping in the capital to demand scrapping of the Special Economic Zone Law of 2005 calling it an “undemocratic way of making use of farmers’ land for industrialistion”.
On Wednesday evening, Tikait held an exhaustive meeting at the PMO, shortly before the UPA dinner, along with members of the Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement (ICCFM) who say the SEZ law will only benefit big companies while fertile farmland will be acquired at throwaway prices. The farmers movement also held a demonstration in this connection on Wednesday.
The farmers have asked the UPA government to stop farmers’ suicides by waiving their loans. They also asked agriculture to be kept outside the purview of world trade. They asked the government to keep a tab on prices and to stop commercialisation of agriculture. The coordination committee wants the government to scrap the Indo-US pact on Agriculture and Seed Bill, 2005 as well.
The meeting in the PMO came against the backdrop of efforts to rope in the kisan leader using his base in Western Uttar Pradesh to help the Congress in the coming Assembly polls. Other members of the coordination committee are Yudhvir Singh, Sardar Gumnaam Singh and Ajmer Singh Lakhowal.