Farmers’ leaders from Punjab on Monday gave the Centre time till the next day to decide on their other demands after the farm laws were repealed on the first day of the Winter Session of Parliament, reported PTI.
“This [repeal of farm laws] is a victory for us and a historic day,” the farmers’ leaders said. “We want withdrawal of cases against the farmers. We want a committee to be formed on the legal guarantee of minimum support price for crops.”
They said that the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmers’ unions, has called an emergency meeting on Wednesday to decide on the future course of action.
Harmeet Singh Kadian, the president of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Kadian), told The Indian Express that their other demands, including repealing Electricity Amendment Bill 2020, cancelling the cases against protesters and suspending Ajay Mishra from the Union Cabinet were still pending.
“We will put our view point before SKM on December 1 and we hope that the rest of the demands will also be resolved by then,” Kadian added. “It can be a decisive announcement on December 1, if all goes well.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced on November 19 that the three farm laws will be repealed in the Winter Session. The laws were withdrawn earlier in the day in Parliament without any discussion.
The farmers, however, had said on November 19 and reiterated it several times that they will continue to protest till their other demands are met.
On Monday, Doaba Kisan Union chief Manjit Singh Rai, however, said that the major demands have been met and the protest should be lifted. He argued that farmers can continue with the agitation in their states.
Although Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) chief Joginder Singh Ugrahan said the protest would continue till there was clarity on the rest of the demands. Farmers have been staging the protest at Delhi border areas for over a year.
Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee General Secreatry Sarwan Singh Pandher also said that the protest would continue for the time being.
“Over 700 farmers died in morcha,” he said. “PM didn’t utter even a word in Parliament about them. We want due compensation for them and a place for their memorial as well at the borders.”
Prem Singh Bhangu, president of the Punjab unit of All India Kisan Mahasabha, said that the farmers had not expected the laws to be repealed in both Houses on the same day.
“Now cancellation of FIRs is also not very difficult process as home ministry needs to issue directions to all states,” he said. “Chargesheet has been issued only in case of Red Fort incident and the rest are mere FIRs in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, UP [Uttar Pradesh].”
In a statement, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha described the repeal of the farm laws as the first major victory of the farmers’ movement but also stressed that the other demands have not been met.
“History has been made today in India when the anti-farmer central farm laws got repealed,” the statement said. “However, the development was marred by the fact that there was no debate allowed on the Bill tabled to repeal the three laws.”