After repeal of farm laws, Centre faces pressure to ensure MSP guarantee, crucial SKM meeting today

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Updated: November 21, 2021 9:10 AM

The SKM is meeting on Sunday to decide on the next course of action, including on the MSP issue and the proposed daily tractor march to Parliament during the upcoming Winter Session

The SKM is meeting on Sunday to decide on the next course of action, including on the MSP issue and the proposed daily tractor march to Parliament during the upcoming Winter Session.

After the Centre to decide to repeal the three contentious agri laws, the farmer unions and opposition parties are now set to pressurise the government to bring in a legislation guaranteeing Minimum Support Price, with ruling BJP MP Varun Gandhi also joining the chorus on Saturday saying the stir won’t end till this issue is resolved.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of the agitating unions, is meeting on Sunday to decide on the next course of action, including on the MSP issue and the proposed daily tractor march to Parliament during the upcoming Winter Session, SKM core committee member Darshan Pal said.

This comes even as officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare and the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution began the process of drafting the repeal Bills which are expected to get Cabinet nod early next week.

The SKM appealed to farmers to gather in large numbers at protest sites on November 26, exactly a year after they first showed up at Delhi’s border in Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur to lodge their protest. It also said a kisan mahapanchayat, scheduled for November 22 in Lucknow, will go ahead as planned.

“Our call of tractor march to Parliament still stands. A final decision on the future course of the agitation and MSP issue will be taken in a meeting of the SKM at Singhu Border on Sunday,” Darshan Pal told PTI on Saturday.

While the opposition needled and mocked the government after it agreed to rollback the farm laws, BJP MP Varun Gandhi, who had deviated from the party line to speak out in favour of the protesters, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to accept the farmers’ demand for a statutory MSP guarantee.

The MP from Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh said if the decision to repeal farm had been taken earlier, “innocent lives would not have been lost”. “This movement will not end without the resolution of this (MSP) demand and there will be widespread anger amongst them, which will continue to emerge in one form or the other. Therefore, it is very important for the farmers to get the statutory guarantee of MSP for their crops,” he wrote and also demanded that Rs 1 crore compensation be given to farmers ‘martyred’ in the movement against the laws.

Like Varun Gandhi, BSP chief Mayawati also demanded a law to guarantee MSP and withdrawal of cases against the protesters. “There should be a new law to ensure the minimum support price for the produce of farmers, and barring cases of serious nature, all cases registered against farmers, who are the country’s pride, should be withdrawn. This should be ensured by the Centre, and it would then be appropriate,” she tweeted.

The Congress and Left parties have also demanded that a law should be enacted on the MSP guarantee while repealing the three laws from last year. Action was also sought against Union Minister Ajay Mishra for the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri by Varun Gandhi as well as Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, who also urged Modi not to share the stage with the minister during the conference of DGPs in Lucknow.

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