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Farm unions suspend tractor rally to Parliament, want Centre to resume talks

Fight till the end: Farmers on completion of one year of their protest at the Singhu border on Friday. SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA  

Farm unions have suspended plans for a tractor rally to Parliament when it opens for the winter session on November 29, saying they will first wait for the promised repeal of the three farm laws to be implemented.

After a meeting of its leaders at the Singhu border site on November 27, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha urged the government to restart the dialogue process and sought a written assurance that its other demands would be met, including a legal guarantee that all farmers will get minimum support prices for their crops. The SKM leadership will meet again on December 4 to decide their next course of action.

 

However, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar insisted that the Centre had already met all farmers’ demands that were within its jurisdiction, and urged the protestors to return home. He told news agency ANI that the unions’ demand on MSP stands fulfilled with the committee announced by the Prime Minister last week to discuss the issue, which would also have farmers’ representatives.

Mr. Tomar said other demands such as the removal of cases registered against farm protestors and compensation for those who died during the protest were under the jurisdiction of State governments. The Centre had also acceded to the SKM’s demand for decriminalisation of farmers engaging in stubble burning, he added.

“After the announcement of the repeal of the three farm laws, there is no point in continuing farmers' agitation. I urge farmers to end their agitation and go home,” the Minister said.

 

Addressing a press conference after the SKM meeting, Krantikari Kisan Union leader Darshan Pal said it had been decided to suspend or postpone the plan to send 500 farmers in tractors from Delhi’s borders to Parliament.

He said the farmers were staying put and awaiting a formal reply to their letter sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with six demands including the dismissal and arrest of Home Minister for State Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’ for his alleged role in recent deaths of farmers at Lakhimpur, and the withdrawal of the Electricity Amendment Bill. The other four demands are related to MSP, stubble burning, compensation and a memorial for the dead, and withdrawal of cases filed against farmers.

“In today’s meeting, the demand for MSP was identified as most important. Until this issue is resolved, we will not go home,” insisted Rajveer Jadaun, a leader in the Bharatiya Kisan Union-Tikait group which is prominent in western Uttar Pradesh. “It is time for the government to restart a dialogue with us in a respectful way,” he added.

 

“In a democracy, it is the duty of the elected government to consult the protesting farmers and resolve the disputes amicably,” said an SKM statement.

Talks between the unions and the Cabinet Ministers had broken down in January after 11 rounds with both sides holding on to their positions. However, last week, days before the one year anniversary of the protests, Mr. Modi gave in to the farmers’ demands to repeal the three farm laws.


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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 4:32:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/farmers-protest-tractor-march-to-parliament-suspended/article37717765.ece

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