Farmers withdraw agitation after Centre's assurance on MSP
Farmers protesting for over a year against three farm laws (now repealed) on Thursday (December 9) declared that they will end their protest on December 11.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 40 farm unions, said the farmers will finally go home after a Fateh March (victory march) at Singhu and Tikri protest sites on Delhi’s borders on December 11. They have also planned a Fateh Ardas (victory prayer) at 5.30 pm on Thursday.
On December 13, the protesting farmers plan to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha plans to hold another meeting in Delhi on December 15.
Earlier, farmers had told the Centre that repeal of farm laws was just one of their six demands. The Centre responded on Wednesday by agreeing to form a committee to decide the MSP issue. The Centre said the panel will comprise government officials, agriculture experts and representatives from the Samyukt Kisan Morcha.
The Centre in the draft proposal has assured unconditional withdrawal of all cases lodged against farmers protesting at the borders of Delhi, while urging the unions to end their year-long protest.
Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have already agreed to give compensation to families of farmers who lost their lives during the protest.
The Centre also said that a Bill on electricity will be introduced only after consulting the farmers.
SMK on December 5 had selected five people to discuss the farmers’ demands with the government. Reports said the government sent a revised proposal to the body after the latter pointed out certain objections in the earlier proposal.
SKM leaders have said that the government has assured to include farmers’ representatives in its committee for MSP.
Ashok Dawale, one of the members of the five-member committee, has said that the government has also agreed to provide ex-gratia to farmers who died during the protests.
“The Haryana and UP governments have informally agreed…there is still a grey area in Haryana regarding whether a family member of a martyred farmer will be given a job as has been announced by the Punjab government,” he said.
The farmers’ panel will continue discussing the rest of the demands with the government. These include the demand for minimum support price, withdrawal of draft Electricity Amendments Bill, 2020/21 and removal of penal provisions against farmers in the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act 2021, arrest and removal of Union Minister Ajay Mishra over the killing of farmers in Lakhimpur, and land for the construction of a martyr’s memorial at Singhu.