AIKS condemns Shivraj's appointment as agri minister, says he has farmers' blood on hands

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New Delhi, Jun 11 (PTI) All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) on Tuesday condemned the appointment of Shivraj Singh Chouhan as the Agriculture Minister, and held him responsible for the Mandsaur incident in Madhya Pradesh, where six farmers were killed in police action during an agitation.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Left-affiliated AIKS also called the Union cabinet's decision on authorising the release of 17th installment of the 'PM Kisan Nidhi' an "eyewash," and accused BJP-NDA of not learning lessons from its defeat in 159 rural constituencies.

"AIKS strongly condemns the selection of Shivraj Singh Chouhan, as the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, by the NDA. It was under his regime that 6 farmers were massacred in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh on 6th June 2017," it said in a statement.

The AIKS said the farmer' demand for a Minimum Support Price based on the Swaminathan Commission report at C2 plus 50 per cent, with guaranteed procurement of crops, was genuine.

This is also one of the main demands of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) that led protests against the now scrapped farm laws.

The AIKS, the farmers' wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), is also a part of the SKM.

"It is morally reprehensible that a politician who has the blood of farmers on his hands has been given the agricultural ministry. This decision itself symbolises the mindset, attitude and direction of the BJP-NDA towards farmers and agrarian distress across India," they said.

Six farmers were killed in June 2017 in Mandsaur of Madhya Pradesh after a group of farmers was fired at by policemen and Central Reserve Police Force jawans.

The AIKS said the NDA government with a significantly weakened BJP has already proved to be anti-farmer.

"Despite the media projection as a 'big decision,' the release of an instalment of direct cash transfer of Rs 2,000 under PM-KISAN is an eyewash, a mere continuation of an old scheme which is grossly inadequate - Rs 500 per month for a farmer household and a trap to divert the attention of the farmers from their right to get remunerative price as recommended by the M S Swaminathan Commission," it said.

The farmer rights body also said the scheme, when it started in 2019, had covered 14.5 crore farmers then, but now its reach has reduced to 9.3 crore farmers.

"Out of the 63 seats lost by the BJP, 60 seats belong to rural dominated regions. The victory of SKM leaders including Amra Ram from Sikar in Rajasthan, Raja Ram Singh from Karakat and Sudama Prasad from Arrah, both in Bihar, and R Sachinthanantham from Dindigul in Tamil Nadu reflects the widespread anger among farmers and rural people against the pro-corporate policies of the NDA," it said. PTI AO AO VN VN