For a protest that’s ostensibly about poor farmers, and against corporate bigwigs like Ambani and Adani, the leaders aren’t exactly what you’d expect.
VM Singh has emerged as one of the faces of the recent protests in Delhi, representing the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee. “We want assurance on #MSP. We want guarantee on the purchase of our produce under it. Farmers will be benefitted if you bring MSP Guarantee Bill,” he had recently declared in a press conference.
But VM Singh has hardly someone who you’d think would be leading a protest against Ambani and Adani — he’s in those hallowed leagues himself. Singh, who is a former Congress leader, has assets of Rs. 631 crore. As per his election affidavit declared in 2009, VM Singh owned Rs. 414 crore worth of agricultural land, and Rs. 206 crore of non-agricultural land. After adding for other assets including cash, and houses, his overall assets were Rs. 632 crore. His liabilities were a paltry Rs. 39 lakh, making him worth a sweet Rs. 631 crore.
Apart from being fabulously wealthy, VM Singh also has had his tiffs with law enforcement agencies. As of 2009, he had 8 criminal cases registered against him, on charges ranging from criminal intimidation (IPC Section-506), theft (IPC Section-379), Punishment for Rioting (IPC Section-147) and Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty (IPC Section-353).
This is something that the liberal media, of course, doesn’t tell you. VM Singh regularly appears on TV as a farmer representing the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, and anchors introduce him as a regular kisan, and not someone who’d worth Rs. 631 crore.
And this could very well be the story of the protests themselves — things aren’t always what they seem.