Farm unions urge farmers to join November 22 mahapanchayat in Lucknow
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha said that the unfulfilled demand for a legal guarantee on Minimum Support Price is crucial to the agitation.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmer unions, on Saturday asked farmers to continue the agitation against the government by participating in the Lucknow Kisan Mahapanchayat on November 22.
The appeal came a day after the Centre said that it will repeal the three contentious farm laws during the Winter Session in Parliament. But the Samyukta Kisan Morcha said that it wanted the government to fulfill their pending demands.
Over the last year, the kisan mahapanchayats or farmers’ conclaves have been held in states like Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. They were organised to address various farmers’ issues, including their opposition to the three agricultural laws that were passed in Parliament in September 2020.
“Kisan Andolan continues its struggle for all its rightful demands to be met by the Government of India,” the statement released by the farmers union on Saturday said. “Samyukta Kisan Morcha appeals to all protesting farmers to continue with the announced programs with full energies put in. SKM appeals to farmers to make Lucknow Kisan Mahapanchayat a great success on November 22.”
The farmers body said that it had staged numerous protests in demand for a legally guaranteed remunerative Minimum Support Price for all agricultural produce for several years now.
“Demand for a statutory guarantee for a fair MSP is an integral part of the current agitation,” the Samyukta Kisan Morcha said in a statement.
The Minimum Support Price is the guaranteed amount paid to farmers when the government buys their produce. The farmers fear that the government plans to dismantle the Minimum Support Price regime under the guise of reforming the agricultural sector.
Meanwhile, the farmers’ body on Saturday said that it was unhappy with the lack of action against Union minister Ajay Mishra, whose son Ashish Mishra is accused in the Lakhimpur violence case.
The association noted that Ajay Mishra will be attending the directors general of police conference in Lucknow with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday and Sunday.
The Union minister’s presence at the event was also opposed by Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Saturday. Gandhi said that if Modi shared a stage with Ajay Mishra, it would indicate that the prime minister was protecting criminals.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha on Saturday also urged farmers to celebrate one year of the protests against the three agricultural laws on November 26.
“Toll plazas [in Delhi] will continue to remain freed up,” the Samyukta Kisan Morcha said. “In various states that are far away from Delhi, the first anniversary on November 26 will be marked by tractor and bullock cart parades in capital cities, along with other protests.”
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at Delhi’s border entry points since November 2020, seeking the withdrawal of the farm laws.
The farmers were concerned about the new laws, which would have opened up the country’s agriculture markets to private companies.
The Centre, however, had claimed that the laws would give farmers more access to markets and boost production through private investment.
In January, nearly two months into the farmers’ movement, the Supreme Court suspended the implementation of the farm laws. It instead set up a committee and tasked it to consult stakeholders and assess the impact of the laws.
On Friday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Union government will repeal the three new farm laws in the Winter Session of Parliament.
The Opposition pointed out that the announcement came ahead of the Assembly elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh scheduled for early next year. Farmers from the two states have been at the forefront of the agitation.