New Delhi: Slogans like ‘Ayodhya nahi, karz maafi chahiye (Not Ayodhya, need debt waiver), resonated in the air as thousands of farmers across the country assembled at the Parliament Street, here on Friday to demand loan waiver, better price for their produces and special session of Parliament for agrarian crisis.
Over one lakh farmers, who were camping at the Ramlila ground since Thursday, started their march to Parliament street in the morning.
The All India Kisan Sangharsh Co-ordination Committee (AIKSCC), an umbrella body of 208 farmers and agriculture workers organisations, is organising the protest.
Farmers from various states, including West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, have reached the national capital to participate in the rally.
The Delhi police deployed more than 3,500 police personal in the capital region to ensure security and traffic police gave advisory to commuters in the Central Delhi area.
Opposition leaders like Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury are expected to address the gathering in the Parliament Street.
Farmers are raising their long time demands including loan waiver, increasing Minimum Support Price (MSP) for produces, special parliament session of agrarian distress and to pass the two private members bills, which were introduced in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha by Raju Shetty and KK Ragesh respectively, last year.
Apart from farmers, people from different paths of life, including doctors, lawyers, teachers, artists also came out in large numbers to help and participate in the rally.
The AIKSCC has claimed that the Friday’s protest is the largest congregation of the farmers in Delhi.
AIKSCC had organised a ‘Kisan Sansad’ in November last year at the Parliament Street raising the same demands.
According to the organisers, the Central government failed to consider their demands, which lead to the Friday’s march.