As tens of thousands of farmers marched towards the national capital, what the government needs to worry about is that it also brought along the much needed opposition unity.
The extent of discontent could be gauged from the fact that many of the farmers were walking barechested in the winter cold and others carrying skulls of loved ones who committed suicide.
The rally moved towards parliament in New Delhi primarily aimed at demanding loan waivers and better prices for their produce.
The protest paved the way for many opposition parties, including the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Nationalist Congress Party and the Left, to come together on a single stage at Jantar Mantar.
While the Congress president Rahul Gandhi said India currently faces two challenges including the bleak future of its farmers and unemployment of its youth, he added that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi could forgive the debt of 15 industrialists, why the farmers are not being extended the same benefit.
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, also Delhi Chief Minister, termed the central government’s flagship insurance scheme for farmers as just another ploy to fleece them.
Representatives of 21 political parties, including opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Sitaram Yechury, Farooq Abdullah and Sharad Yadav, stood together on the stage at the massive gathering.
To this opposition unity, the BJP leader Sambit Patra reacted by saying that having Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal on the same stage only means having drama and confusion are on the same stage.
Farmers from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh reached Delhi on Thursday and spent the night at Ramlila Ground.
The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee or AIKSCC, the umbrella body for farmers’ groups, demanded a special session of parliament to pass bills seeking a loan waiver and better prices for crops. >