Farmers Set To End Protests As Centre Accepts Almost All Demands: Sources

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Farmers and opposition parties have been protesting the central farm law since September 2020 (file)

Highlights

  • The farmers have received written assurances about their demands, sources said
  • Assurances include farmers’ demands for an MSP guarantee, they said
  • The Center has written to the unions that all police cases will be dropped, they said

New Delhi:
Farmers have been protesting for more than 15 months – on the verge of standing – on the issue of legal guarantees for MSPs from the (now repealed) farm law. Sources said that they are discussing a proposal from the Center which promises to meet almost all the demands.

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Here are the top 10 points of this big story:

  1. A long meeting of the farmers leaders of the Sammilita Kisan Morcha was held on Tuesday evening at Singhu on the Delhi border. The meeting – to consider the Centre’s proposal – ended without an agreement on how to proceed, and will resume tomorrow at 2 p.m.

  2. Sources said the center was open to assuring farmers in writing that their demands – including legal guarantees for MSP and withdrawal of all police cases against them including burning of straw – would be met.

  3. If the peasants, as widely expected, accept the Centre’s proposal, it will mean the end of a mass movement that has garnered thousands of peasant gatherings in India and around the world, headlines for violent clashes with police and furious rows. In Parliament.

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  4. Sources said the Center, as part of its proposal, would form a committee to determine the MSP issue. The committee will consist of government officials, agronomists and representatives of the Sammilita Kisan Morcha, an umbrella organization of farmers’ unions, who led the protest.

  5. Sources further said that the Center has agreed to withdraw all police cases against the farmers – including allegations of hay burning and allegations of violent clashes with security forces in the last few months in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

  6. It is understood that while the farmers are happy with the Centre’s proposal, there is a fixed issue – the Center wants the farmers to step down before the police withdraw the case.

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  7. The question of compensation – a point was raised when Rahul Gandhi accused the Center of lying – was also discussed. The farmers mentioned the Rs 5 lakh provided by Punjab, where the Center said UP and Haryana had agreed on similar steps in principle.

  8. Farmers said last week that Home Minister Amit Shah had spoken to them (via a phone call) to discuss outstanding issues; It was forced to repeal the farm law after their protest.

  9. The farmers formed a five-member panel to negotiate – the talks included legalization of the MSP and demands to withdraw the police case against the protesters.

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  10. The center was given a ‘deadline’, which expires today. “… If an agreement is reached, the farmers are likely to return,” Yudhbir Singh, a union leader, told NDTV.

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