Farmers who have spent the last 15 months protesting the farm law and pushing for legal guarantees for the MSP are on the verge of curtailing their movement after receiving a second draft proposal from the government, including assurances from the MSP and withdrawal of police cases. .
“We have accepted the revised draft given by the Center in our demand for farmers’ movement against the three farm laws. We will hold another meeting tomorrow, as soon as we get an official letter from the Center. The protest is still going on,” said farmer leader Gurnam Singh Charuni on Wednesday.
Thursday’s meeting will take place at 12 noon, when a final decision will be made on how to reduce the intensity of the protests – in which thousands of farmers may camp around Delhi and return home.
The stand-down comes after a staggering U-turn by the government – ranging from the repeal of farm laws to the withdrawal of police cases against farmers and, importantly, to the MSP or the consideration of their long-standing demands for a minimum. Support price, official.
Earlier on Wednesday, a panel of five senior farmer leaders met in Delhi to discuss a new proposal from the government, which assured that police cases against thousands of farmers – accused of agitating for farm laws and burning straw – would be settled immediately. Suspended.
The government sent out an offer on Tuesday evening that included assurances to form a committee to examine the MSP demands, but the farmers would have to stop their protests before the police dropped the cases – something the farmers indicated they were reluctant to do.
On the question of formation of MSP committee, the farmers insisted that only members of the Sammilita Kisan Morcha (apart from central officials, concerned states and agricultural experts) could be selected.
This is to prevent the inclusion of those farmers who supported the farm law.
And on the question of the controversial power amendment bill, the farmers have made a promise from the government that it will be raised only after discussions with them.
The farmers also insisted on the need for financial compensation as proposed by the Punjab Congress government (allegedly, to the families of the more than 700 farmers who died in the protests); The state has given Rs 5 lakh and a job to one of the family members.
Both Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have agreed in principle to this demand.
Last week, farmers said 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.
All of this represents a huge uproar from the government, which has angrily defended farm laws – even calling the protesting farmers “terrorists” and “Khalistanis”.
The revocation of the Farm Act has been seen by some as a politically expedient decision for the BJP, which faces an image problem in vote-dependent Uttar Pradesh and cannot ignore the votes of farmers there and in Punjab and Uttarakhand. The next two states are also voting next year.
When Prime Minister Modi last month offered the farmers an “apology” and said the farm law would be repealed, the farmers rejoiced but expressed their determination to continue protesting until the MSP issue was resolved to their satisfaction.