June 5, 2018
In Madhya Pradesh, the farmers started a stir across seven states. Over 125 farmers’ outfits affiliated to the Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh (RKM) launched their 10-day strike.
The farmers have stop the supply of vegetables, milk and other products to city markets in Haryana, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. Some of these states are top vegetable and milk suppliers to big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Jaipur.
Unlike more common mode of strike wherein agitators block roads and take out marches, RKM convener Shiv Kumar Sharma, better known as Kakkaji has said that the farmers will simply stop taking their produce to urban centres. The farmers will not be selling vegetables and dairy products in city markets.
The cities in the seven states where the farmers began their strike are likely to face acute shortage of vegetables and dairy products over the next 10 days. The shortage in supply of vegetables and dairy products may push the prices of these commodities on the graph.
Northern cities including the capital New Delhi, are likely to bear the brunt as they are mainly dependent on the supply of vegetables, milk and other dairy products from neighbouring states of Haryana, Rajasthan and even Madhya Pradesh. Delhi receives most of its onion and tomatoes from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
However, traders from the cities can go to the striking farmers and buy vegetables and dairy products to bring back to the urban areas. The RKM has not imposed any ban on sale of vegetables and dairy products if the urban traders approach the growers in the villages.
On the other hand, not all the farmers’ outfits are participating in the strike. A more powerful farmers’ body, the All India Kisan Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti (AIKSS) has decided to stay away from the strike.
AIKSS is a federation of over 190 organisations including those affiliated to political parties and groups like the All India Kisan Mahasabha of the Communist Party of India, the Swaraj Abhiyan of Yogendra Yadav and the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna of Raju Shetty (a influential body in Maharashtra).
This means a majority of farmers will be staying away from the 10-day strike. These two umbrella groups – RKM and AIKSS — are competing bodies in some aspects and their not coming together is likely to save city dwellers much of the trouble.