How Can The Muzaffarnagar Kisan Mahapanchayat Impact UP Polls?
The Big StorySeptember 06, 2021
00:12:1211.23 MB

How Can The Muzaffarnagar Kisan Mahapanchayat Impact UP Polls?

With only months to go for the crucial Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections, the ongoing farmers' movement gained a fresh impetus as lakhs of farmers gathered in Western UP's Muzaffarnagar district in a formidable show of strength.

Seething with anger against the government, they said they are here fighting to “save the nation”.

The kisan mahapanchayat as it has been termed, was called on 5 September, by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of 40 farmer unions that has been spearheading the farmers' protest for the last nine months over the three contentious farm laws passed by the Centre.

Despite several hundred deaths during the course of the protest, farmers have made it clear that they won't budge until all the three laws are repealed and a legal guarantee is provided for MSP.

But as the logjam with the government continues, the kisan mahapanchayat comes bearing political implications, as farmer leaders have now also vowed to take on the BJP and oust the Yogi Adityanath government from the state.

“We have kicked off ‘Mission UP and Uttarakhand’ from this stage. We will not let BJP win the elections," a statement by the SKM read.

The choice of venue for this mammoth gathering also holds vital importance, as the deadly Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 was seen to be a turning point that helped the BJP make inroads UP and eventually win the 2014 state elections. 

But raising chants of "Har Har Mahadev" and "Allah Hu Akbar" from the podium, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said that farmers wouldn't be polarised over communal politics, as he pledged to unite farmers of all creeds and oppose the BJP.

Although Tikait didn't indicate any plans of joining electoral politics, what kind of an impact and what scale of an impact is the farmers' movement likely to make in the UP polls? Will the combination of Jaat and Muslim voters change things for the BJP?

In this episode you will hear voices of farmers from ground zero. We also spoke to Ranjan Pandey, an independent journalist and co-author of Battleground U.P.: Politics in the Land of Ram. Tune in to The Big Story!

Producer and Host: Shorbori Purkayastha
Guests: Rajan Pandey, an independent journalist, Co-author of Battleground U.P.: Politics in the Land of Ram
Editor: Shelly Walia

Music: Big Bang Fuzz

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