With the thumping victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh, a question has arisen that-Has the Kisan Andolan failed to have any impact on UP Assembly Polls 2022?
Started on 9th August 2020, Kisan Andolan (farmers’ protest) was a protest against three New Farm Laws that were passed by the Parliament of India in September 2020, under the regime of the Modi government.
After one year, four months, two days–on 11th December 2021–the farmers union decided to end the agitation as the Government of India (GOI) agreed to take back the controversial laws.
There was speculation that the Andolan will impact the BJP negatively in the UP Assembly Polls 2022 as a considerable population of farmers come from Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
In an exclusive interview to me (journalist Anurag Sason), the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) general secretary Yudhvir Sing had said that “farmers are hurt” and won’t support BJP in the upcoming UP Assembly polls 2022.
Q) In 2022, assembly elections will take place in seven states including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. Which political party farmers will support?
Yudhvir Singh: See, Kisan Andolan (farmers’ protest) which is going on from last more than one year has given many wounds to the farmers. Farmers are hurt. There is no feeling of excitement for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
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Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav was seen as a strong contender against BJP in general and Yogi Adityanath in particular. MSP for every crop, free irrigation and cane arrear in 15 days were some of the promises made by Akhilesh Yadav to farmers before the elections.
Congress Party was also hoping that riding on the Kisan Andolan “wave” it will revive its lost glory in the most populous state of India.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had promised that “farmers’ loans will be waived off as soon as the government is formed. Paddy and wheat will be purchased at Rs 2,500 per quintal and sugarcane at ₹400 per quintal. The electricity bill will be halved and dues of the pandemic period will be waived. Moreover, farmers who lost crops will get Rs 3,000 as compensation.”
However, the mahant of the Gorakhnath Math eclipsed everything and emerged a winner.
This raised a very serious question which I already mentioned above that-Has the farmers’ agitation failed to have any impact on the polls of UP?
It apparently seems like that. Otherwise, how BJP won such a massive victory in a state which has a notable farmer population. According to Uttar Pradesh’s Udyan And Khady Prasanskaran Vibhag, there were about 233.25 lakh farmers in the state in 2017-18.
It appears to me that farmers got what they wanted (repeal of the New Farm Laws), forgave the saffron party and voted for it AGAIN!
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author are personal.
About the author: Anurag Sason is an Indian journalist with experience in mainstream journalism. He has worked in newspaper, news agency, TV, news app (short video sharing app) and digital media. He tweets at @AnuragSason
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