Revolutionary writer and former emissary of Maoists in peace talks with the Andhra Pradesh government, Varavara Rao on Monday extended support of the CPI (Maoist) to the struggles of tenant, podu and other farmers for their inclusion in the Rytu Bandhu scheme of investment support for agriculture.
The CPI (Maoist) will stand by the farmers in their agitations, Mr. Rao told a meeting on “cultivators rights” organised by All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee here on Monday.
Talks with YSR Govt.
As one of the three emissaries of Maoists in the talks with Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy government in 2004, Mr. Rao recalled that the present demand of tenant, podu and other farmers seeking recognition of their rights formed an important component during the talks. Both, CPI (Maoist) and CPI – ML (Janashakti) which participated in the talks had told the government that rights of farmers in 37 categories of land had to be protected. The parties had highlighted their commitment to “Jal, Jangal, Jameen” for farmers tilling such lands.
“The TRS was part of the coalition government headed by Rajasekhara Reddy and its eight Ministers resigned after the encounter killing of Riyaz who was one of the two top leaders to represent the CPI – ML (Janashakti) at the talks”.
‘Honour your stand’
Therefore, Mr. Rao asked the present TRS government to honour the stand taken by the party then by implementing land reforms raised by the Naxalite parties in three days of hectic talks. Input subsidy to all farmers, loan waiver, water and three acres of land to Scheduled Caste farmers were part of land reforms that the parties raised, he added.
He expressed anguish over 17 lakh tenant farmers being left out of Rytu Bandhu and podu cultivators, mainly in Adilabad, evicted over 7 lakh acres in the name of carrying out Haritha Haaram programme. He suggested that the land issue could not be addressed by seminars and asked farmers to intensify struggles which the CPI (Maoist) will support.
Earlier, half a dozen farmers narrated how the Rytu Bandhu benefitted land owners though they did not cultivate.
R. Venkatamma of Brahmanapalli village in Madugula mandal of Ranga Reddy district said she paid a rent of ₹3 lakh per year on ten acres of land that she had taken on lease.
Plus, the owner got Rytu Bandhu money.