The Samyukt Kisan Morcha on Wednesday did not take a decision on calling off the farmers’ agitation, PTI reported. The umbrella body of farmers’ unions held a meeting on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the matter after the Centre sent them a proposal on resolving their pending demands.
Farmer leader Gurnam Singh Charuni said that the the agitation will continue for now. However, he added that the unions have reached a consensus on a fresh proposal made by the Centre on the demands.
The future course of action regarding the movement will decided upon after the unions receive a formal letter from the central government detailing the proposal, Charuni said, according to PTI.
Although Parliament had repealed the three farm laws on November 29, the farmer leaders had said that they will continue their protest till their other demands are met.
These include a legal guarantee on minimum support price on crops, withdrawal of cases lodged against the protestors during the farm law agitation and suspension of minister Ajay Mishra from the Union Cabinet, among others.
“SKM [Samyukta Kisan Morcha] confirms to have received a revised draft proposal from the Government of India and that a consensus has been arrived at within SKM, accepting the proposal,” read a tweet by Kisan Ekta Morcha, the official Twitter account of the farmers movement. “Now, a formal communication signed on the government’s letterhead is awaited.”
The farmer leaders are scheduled to meet again at 12 pm on Thursday at Delhi’s Singhu border to “take a formal decision thereafter to lift the morchas”.
On Tuesday, the farmer unions had demanded a clarification from the Union government on certain points in a draft proposal sent earlier. Farmer unions had demanded that cases registered against protestors across the country during the agitation should be withdrawn. But, the Centre had earlier proposed that the cases will be withdrawn only after the protests are called off.
On the farmers’ demand to have a law passed to guarantee minimum support price of crops, the government on Tuesday had proposed to form a committee to look into the matter. The government had recommended that the panel would include representatives of farmer organisations outside the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, government officials and representatives of states.
But the farmer bodies had objected to this proposal.
The repeal of the farm laws
Thousands of farmers have been holding sit-in demonstrations at the borders of the national Capital since November last year. The agitation began with the demand of repeal of the three farm laws passed in the Parliament in September 2020.
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.
On November 19, on the occasion of Guru Parab, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the laws will be repealed. On December 1, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to withdrawal of the laws after a Bill proposing their repeal was passed in Parliament during the Winter Session.