Farmers protesting against the three controversial agricultural laws on Thursday rejected the Centre’s new proposal of putting the legislation on hold for one-and-a-half years. They once again demanded a complete rollback of the laws.
Sankyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farm unions leading protests at several Delhi border points, discussed the government’s offer at the Singhu border. “In a full general body meeting of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha today, the proposal put forth by the government yesterday, was rejected,” a press release said. “A full repeal of three central farm acts and enacting a legislation for remunerative MSP for all farmers were reiterated as the pending demands of the movement.”
Rakesh Tikait, who heads one faction of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, also confirmed the decision to The Hindu. “We don’t want a suspension of the three laws just for 1.5 years,” he said. “We want a full repeal.”
On Wednesday, the Narendra Modi government had agreed to suspend the implementation of the three contentious farm laws for one-and-a-half years and offered to convey it to the Supreme Court in an affidavit. During the 10th round of talks with the farmer unions on Wednesday, the government also offered to form a special joint committee to work out the future course of action.
The laws have already been stayed till further orders by the Supreme Court. The top court had also formed committee to end the stalemate. The farmers have rejected the court-appointed committee, saying that all the four members were in favour of the agricultural laws. Later, one of the members had also stepped down.
The farm laws
Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping out on the outskirts of Delhi for nearly 60 days, demanding the repeal of the three agricultural laws passed in September. The farmers believe that the new laws undermine their livelihood and open the path for the corporate sector to dominate agricultural.
The government, on the other hand, maintains that the new laws will give farmers more options in selling their produce, lead to better pricing, and free them from unfair monopolies. The law passed in September are meant to overhaul antiquated procurement procedures and open up the market, the government has claimed.