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1,500 farm union representatives to come together at national convention

The convention is being held to mark completion of nine months of agitation

Farmers block a road at Singhu border during their 'chakka jam' protest on February 6 |  PTI Farmers block a road at Singhu border during their 'chakka jam' protest on February 6 | PTI

Over 1,500 representatives of farm unions from across the country will come together to discuss future strategies for the ongoing farmers' protest during the national convention on August 26 and 27, farmer leaders said.

The convention at the Singhu border is being held to mark the completion of nine months of farmers' agitation against the three contentious farm laws.

"Unlike our other events, the national convention is not going to be a mass gathering or a rally. Instead, 1,500 representatives of farmer unions from across the country will come together for two days at the Singhu border to discuss strategies to sharpen and intensify our protests," farmer leader Abhimanyu Kohar told PTI.

He added that the convention was aimed at bringing together farmers from across the country, so that everybody could be part of the decision-making on how the protest was to be taken forward.

"We have been protesting for nine months. It is not a short span of time. We want to include everybody, and representatives of farmer organisations from east, west, south and north... everybody will be here," Kohar added.

According to a statement by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the convention will be aimed at "intensification and expansion of an all India movement against the three black laws and legal guarantee of MSP of all crops". 

"The convention shall discuss a resolution on all issues of the farmers movement --repeal of all three pro-corporate farm laws, legal guarantee for MSP of all crops, repeal of Electricity Bill, 2021, no prosecution of farmers under the 'Commission of AQ Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas Bill 2021'," the statement said.

The two-day event will see five sessions -- three on Thursday and two on Friday -- that will attempt to address the challenges faced by industrial workers, agriculture labour, rural poor and tribal people. 

Sessions revolving around women, students, youth and other sections of working people will also be part of the convention, the statement said.

Delegates representative of organisations that work for the welfare of these sections will also be participating in the convention. 

One of the major topics that will be up for discussion will be the farmers' upcoming 'mahapanchayat' in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar, Kohar said.

"Our next strategy is the Muzaffarnagar 'mahapanchayat' on September 5 which will also be discussed at the convention. Preparations for the 'mahapanchayat' are in full swing. I know that at least 5,000 vehicles will be travelling to Muzaffarnagar," he said.

On August 26, the farmers' protest against the three contentious laws will complete nine months since they first arrived at the Delhi borders. The farmers have been demanding the repeal of the laws which they are afraid will do away with the MSP system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.

Over 10 rounds of talks with the government that has been projecting the laws as major agricultural reforms have failed to break the deadlock between the two parties.

While the Singhu border will be the central point of the national convention, gatherings will be organised in different parts of the country parallelly.

In Chandigarh, farmer leader Paramjit Singh said about 2,000-2,5000 people are expected to come together to discuss the "issues that have been impacting farmers as well as the common man".

"We will gather on the ground in sector 25 where a stage will be put up. On one of the days of the national convention, Rakesh Tikait is expected to visit our gathering and address the crowd," he said.

"Leaders of different farm unions will also participate to discuss how the agitation should be taken forward," Singh said.

He added that the farmers have ensured that their protests are peaceful and do not cause any inconvenience to people.

"Farmers have been very straightforward about their demands from the beginning. It is the government that is being stubborn," Singh said.

"We will continue to be patient because we do not want to cause any inconvenience to anyone. The government will have to give in to our demands because we will continue building pressure," he said.

According to the farmers leaders, the visiting representatives from around 20 states, including Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu, will be provided accommodation at the Singhu border itself.

"We have been protesting constantly over the last nine months. This convention will also be a way to recall our struggle through the last nine months," said Rachpal Singh, another farmer leader.

"The farm union leaders from across the country, who will stay at the Singhu protest site, will address the protesters there talking about our agitation, the three black laws and the state of farmers in the country," he added.

The convention will also see discussions on supporting resolutions on other problems agitating the people, including three labour codes, MNREGA, steep price rise of fuel and fertilizers, attack on women, privatisation of education, displacement of adivasis, attack on business of small shopkeepers, and land acquisition and land rights, the SKM statement said.

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