With the Centre agreeing to most of the demands of the protesting farmers, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha is expected to take a final call on the fate of agitation on Wednesday. In a meeting held at Singhu border Tuesday, the SKM expressed its satisfaction over the initiative of the central government to resolve the standoff, but some wanted more clarity on the issues raised by them.
The umbrella body of farmer unions, spearheading the protest which has been going on for over a year, said it has replied to the government’s proposal seeking an end to its protest demanding clarification on certain points, including on the precondition set for withdrawal of “fake” cases against farmers.
According to the SKM, the central government has agreed to accept most of the demands but they will wait for its response on some issues, including MSP and withdrawal of cases against the protesters, before holding its meeting at 2 pm on Wednesday.
The government sent a proposal, it was discussed and presented before all members of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said. The government’s proposal said that it will form a committee to look into the demand for a legal guarantee on minimum support price (MSP) and the panel will include farmer organisations outside the SKM, government officials and representatives of states, he said.
“We had objections to it, we do not want other committees who have been against our demands since the start to be part of the panel on MSP. We have demanded the government give a clarification in this regard,” Rajewal said.
After the announcement of repealing three contentious farm laws, the SKM had written to the PM on November 21 raising six demands – legal guarantee of MSP for all produce based on C2+50% formula; withdrawal of draft Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020/2021; removal of the penal provisions on farmers in the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act 2021; withdrawal of false cases registered against the farmers over the course of the ongoing movement; dismissal and arrest of Union Minister of State Ajay Mishra Teni in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri incident; compensation and rehabilitation to the families of the who died during the farm movement; allocation of land for a memorial to them at Singhu.
The SKM had formed a five-member panel on Saturday to hold talks with the government on the pending demands of the protesting farmers, including a legal guarantee on MSP for crops, compensation to the kin of the farmers who died during the agitation against three agriculture laws and the withdrawal of cases against the protesters. The five-member panel of the SKM has farmer leaders Balbir Singh Rajewal, Ashok Dhawle, Shiv Kumar Kakka, Gurnam Singh Chaduni and Yudhvir Singh.