Several groups of farmers and environmentalists have been organising protests in Kerala to express solidarity with the protesting farmers near New Delhi.

Farmers and activists hold protest in Kerala to express solidarity with the farmers in Delhi They are seen holding placards in Malayalam
news Farmers’ protest Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 18:51

The district-level committees, comprising farmers and environmental activists across Kerala and formed to express solidarity with the protesting farmers near New Delhi, have decided to organise a 'Sadbuddhi Satyagraha' (protest for good sense) on February 13, just hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the state on February 14. Their demand — PM Modi should not come back to Kerala without repealing the three controversial farm laws.

During his visit to Kochi on Sunday — touted to be both official and political in poll-bound Kerala — PM Modi will inaugurate several projects in the state. He will reach Irumpanam in Tripunithura municipality around 4 pm on Sunday to inaugurate state-controlled Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited's (BPCL) Propylene Derivatives Petrochemical Project (PDPP) at Kochi Oil Refinery.

According to CR Neelakandan, an environmental activist spearheading the protest, as the PM inaugurates the BPCL project, the protesters comprising farmers, environmentalists and political activists will take out a protest march from Kakkanad to Irumpanam, covering about 6 kilometres.

Prior to that, on the evening of February 13, around 5 pm, the committees will organise the 'Sadbuddhi Satyagraha', with the hope to change PM Modi’s mind and make him reverse his earlier decision, thereby repealing the three controversial farm laws.

"In every street, junction and house across the state, the protesters have been asked to hold a placard, wishing for good sense to prevail. The protesters have been also asked to record videos echoing their demand and asking Modi not to visit Kerala without withdrawing the laws. These videos will be uploaded on social media," Neelakandan told TNM.

Neelakandan has put out a message on Facebook announcing the protest. Leaders farmers’ organisation and activists, including PT John (south Indian coordinator of Rashtriya Kisan Maha Sangh) and KV Biju (a former member of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch), are spearheading the protests in Kerala.

"Ahead of the Prime Minister's visit, we have also planned to send tweets to Prime Minister Modi, asking him not to come to Kerala without withdrawing the farm bills," said advocate John Joseph, one of the members heading the protest.

India has been witnessing one of its biggest ever protests as lakhs of farmers have taken to the streets against the controversial laws, which were widely seen as 'pro-corporate’. To express solidarity with the protesting farmers, members from different walks of life - farmers, environmentalists, lawyers and politicians - have been organising various protests across districts for the last several weeks.

The key event of PM Modi’s visit to Kerala, according to reports, would be the dedication of state-controlled refiner, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited's (BPCL) Propylene Derivatives Petrochemical Project (PDPP), at Kochi Refinery. With the commissioning of the project, Kochi refinery would be able to produce Acrylates, Acrylic Acid and Oxo-Alcohol, which would help the refinery make paints, coatings and adhesives, and thus accomplish huge savings in the import expenditure.

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