The All India Conference of the Land Rights Movement was held in Ranchi on 19 and 20 June 2017 under the aegis of national and state level people’s organizations, especially Left farmers’ organizations. CPI (ML) central committee member and former MLA Com. Vinod Singh along with AIKM State unit members and National Secretary Com. Rajaram Singh participated in the Conference. Jharkhand social activist Dayamani Barla played an important part in the organization of the Conference.
On the first day of the Conference 8 national level and 6 Jharkhand level resolutions were discussed and passed. Reading out the Jharkhand resolutions, Dayamani Barla said that the CNT SPT Act is the protective armour of the adivasis and indigenous people of Jharkhand which the government has broken by making amendments to Sections 71, 49, 21 and 13. These amendments should be revoked. The resolution further said that by making land banks out of villages and other sites like gairmajrua lands, pasture lands, etc the government is preparing to hand these lands over to corporate houses. The ban on cattle sale must be revoked as this is having an adverse effect on agriculture. Similarly, the anti-people mahua policy must also be revoked. The resolution also called for mass mobilization against the BJP’s spreading of communal poison and hatred.
The national resolution expressed participation and support for the Kisan Mahasangharsh Samiti dharna in front of the Niti Ayog on 3 July, the Kisan Mukti Yatra from 6 to 18 July, and the all-district Kisan rally on 9 August; a conference of activists from Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra on compensation relief and rehabilitation of the Narmada Valley displaced families and publication of campaign material; holding of farmers’ organizations national conference and submitting a 4 point charter of demands to the Prime Minister (implementation of Swaminathan Commission recommendations, minimum purchase price for all crops 50% more than crop outlay, purchase centres, loan waivers for all farmers). Revoking the ban on cattle sale and linking MNREGA to agriculture are also part of the demands.
Representatives of various social, political, farmers’, and workers’ organizations addressed the Conference. AIKMS leader Com. Rajaram Singh and other speakers said that the government first broke the back of farmers with demonetization; now the ban on cattle sale is another brutal blow. The government must now give all farmers a profitable price on their crops and must ban the use of GM seeds. Hannan Mollah pointed out that the Land Rights Movement is a new initiative of the farmers built on the common issues of ‘jal, jangal, jameen’ which has started in Jharkhand after already being active in Odisha, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The speakers said that we cannot expect the government to do anything positive for farmers on its own; we must unite to fight and secure our rights. The Conference reiterated the Jharkhand resolution demanding revoking of CNT-SPT amendments (failing which Parliament will be gheraoed), cancellation of forcible land grab by Adani Power Plant, release of arrested MLA Pradeep Yadav, withdrawal of all false cases against protesters, and implementation of Forest Rights Act 2006.
CPI (ML) Dharna for Land Rights in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
A rally and a dharna were organized by CPI (ML) in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh on land issues. Comrades R. Nagamani, MP Ramdev, Thota Anjaneyalu, A. Prabhakar, B. Ramesh, B. Koteswar Rao and Syd. Mabu lead the protest.