The agrarian crisis has emerged as a major political concern in 2018, fuelled mainly by a fall in crop prices and a poor procurement mechanism which will provide opposition parties a common ground to rally against the BJP ahead of the next year's general elections.
The anger brewing against the perceived "anti-farm policies" of the current central Indian government could be measured by the poor performance of the BJP in the rural parts of Hindi heartland states in the just-concluded Assembly elections, that saw the BJP ousted from power in all three states.
In past one year, the national capital alone saw at least five major rallies of farmers, despite the BJP-government coming up with a new price-fixation formula and a score of schemes to impress farmers. But simmering discontent among farmers gained political traction in 2018.
Various opposition parties have been raising their voices against different issues to suit their electoral needs but they showed unanimity in expressing their solidarity with the demands for better crop remuneration and farm loan waivers during the November 30 farmers' rally in the capital.
For the first time, the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be fought on issues revolving around rural distress, said Yogendra Yadav of Swaraj India, who is credited with bringing over 200 farmers' outfits under one banner (the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee): "There has always been agrarian distress in the country. However, it never been a principal factor in the elections. The BJP's defeat in the Assembly polls, coupled with the newly-achieved unity among farmers, has ensured that farm distress would take a centre stage in the 2019 elections.”