HW English

“Will Launch Hunger Strike If Farm Issues Not Resolved”: Anna Hazare Writes To Tomar

“I have started thinking about relaunching the hunger strike. I will inform you about date and place of the agitation,” Hazare wrote.

Anna Hazare, the social activist from Maharashtra and face of ‘India Against Corruption’ movement, who has repeatedly expressed his solidarity with the farmers protesting the new farm laws, said on Monday that he will start a hunger strike if demands such as giving autonomy to the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and implementing the Minimum Support Price (MSP) recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission are not met.

Anna Hazare, in a letter written to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, reminded the government of the promises made to him by Tomar’s predecessor Radha Mohan Singh in February 2019.

Over issues such as the appointment of Lokpal and improving farmers’ income, Hazare had launched a hunger strike on January 29, 2019. Devendra Fadnavis, the then chief minister of Maharashtra, had met Hazare in Ralegan Siddhi after eight days. Fadnavis had given Hazare a letter from Singh, promising that a high-level committee, including former agriculture ministers and representatives of various farmers’ unions, would be formed to look into the issues and a report prepared by October 2019.

“This (promise) has not been fulfilled. I have started thinking about relaunching the hunger strike. I will inform you about date and place of the agitation,” Hazare wrote.

In a video message last week, Hazare had cautioned farmers’ leaders to not trust the promises made by the government, saying the written promises made to him by the PMO, the Union Minister of Agriculture and other ministers were never.

“I staged a protest and started a fast-unto-death on March 23 at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi in 2017. After seven days of the agitation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave me a letter via the then Agriculture Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and others promising me that CACP will be given autonomy and the MSP will be fixed at c2+50 per cent (c2 is a weighted average of the cost of production),” he added.

Also urging the protesters to remain peaceful, Hazare said any violence would give an opportunity to the government to crush the agitation by force.

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