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Politics Farm and Forest

Willing to end struggle but no faith in GoI: SKM

After a year of nationwide mobilisation, sources say the farmers struggle may conclude soon on a victorious note

Sabrangindia 07 Dec 2021

Central Government

The farmers’ protest is possibly about to reach its conclusion, as the central government appears in favour of accepting the major demands of the struggle, said sources on December 7, 2021. However after a suspended meeting, farmers remain apprehensive, as the move comes at the cost of ending the nationwide movement.

On receiving a written letter from the central government, farmers' umbrella body Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni said, “We have three objections about the letter sent by the government regarding the demands. Primarily, they want us to stop the movement but we suspect the government’s goodwill after past experiences.”

For nearly 15 months, India’s farmers have been out on the streets, voicing their demands to the central government. Recently, as state elections draw closer, the BJP-led central government has warmed to the idea of listening to farmers’ demands. Prior to the Parliament’s winter session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to the crucial demand of the repeal of the three farm laws.

On Tuesday, the government agreed to revoke the FIRs against 50 thousand agitating farmers across India. Additionally, they said that leaders received intimation from the government that it is willing to accept all other major demands of the movement. If this is done, the protesting farmers who have stayed at Delhi borders for over a year, will return to their villages and fields.

“SKM’s five-member committee discussed the letter. Leaders are still figuring out the details with government officials. We have asked for clarifications from the government which we expect to receive by 2 PM on December 8,” said Balbir Singh Rajewal.

As a recap, farmers have the following major demands before the government currently:

-          legal guarantee to Minimum Support Price (MSP) for any agricultural produce that they sell;

-          withdrawal of Electricity (Amendment) Bill and deletion of penal provisions related to Delhi Air Quality regulation;

-          withdrawal of cases against protesting farmers;

-          rehabilitation and compensation for the families of people who were martyred during the struggle.

Of these, sources said the government is also willing to work with farmers to compensate and rehabilitate families of the 700 martyred farmers. During the winter session, Union Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Minister Narendra Tomar said it has “no records” of such deaths.

“The government says it is willing to compensate farmers. But we feel if the central government follows the Punjab government model of one job and Rs. 5 lakh for each martyr, then their kin will receive justice to some extent,” said All India Kisan Sabha President Ashok Dhawale.

Similarly, the government promised to table Bills regarding withdrawal of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill after talking to stakeholders. However, as leaders pointed out the government had already agreed to dismiss the Bill in previous discussions. As for the air quality legislature, farmers demanded the deletion of Section 15 that penalises farmers for stubble burning. For MSP, the central government asked SKM representatives to create a committee with officials, experts in this regard. However, leaders have already demanded a written assurance from the government first.

“The government says it will include other farmer leaders. We are worried, the government may include individuals who support WTO motives,” said Chaduni.

Further, Dhawale said, “The SKM struggled for the last one year for the realisation of MSP. As such, farmer representatives of unions that supported the farm laws or dismissed MSP requirements should not be part of the committee.”

Farmers other demands include martyr memorial and the suspension and arrest of Union Minister Ajay Mishra for his alleged involvement in the Lakhimpur Kheri killings. Leaders said that details about the latter will be discussed on Wednesday.

While neither denying nor confirming rumours of an approaching conclusion to the farmers protest, farmer leaders said that the hundreds of farmer deaths in the last one year could have been avoided if the central government had accepted their demands sooner.

Related:

SKM forms five-member committee to hold talks with GoI
Centre refuses compensation to martyred farmers claiming it has “no record”
SKM decries Centre’s tyranny in disallowing debate on farm laws
Parliament repeals farm laws sans discussion, but what's next?
SKM postpones Tractor Rally to Parliament

Willing to end struggle but no faith in GoI: SKM

After a year of nationwide mobilisation, sources say the farmers struggle may conclude soon on a victorious note

Central Government

The farmers’ protest is possibly about to reach its conclusion, as the central government appears in favour of accepting the major demands of the struggle, said sources on December 7, 2021. However after a suspended meeting, farmers remain apprehensive, as the move comes at the cost of ending the nationwide movement.

On receiving a written letter from the central government, farmers' umbrella body Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni said, “We have three objections about the letter sent by the government regarding the demands. Primarily, they want us to stop the movement but we suspect the government’s goodwill after past experiences.”

For nearly 15 months, India’s farmers have been out on the streets, voicing their demands to the central government. Recently, as state elections draw closer, the BJP-led central government has warmed to the idea of listening to farmers’ demands. Prior to the Parliament’s winter session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to the crucial demand of the repeal of the three farm laws.

On Tuesday, the government agreed to revoke the FIRs against 50 thousand agitating farmers across India. Additionally, they said that leaders received intimation from the government that it is willing to accept all other major demands of the movement. If this is done, the protesting farmers who have stayed at Delhi borders for over a year, will return to their villages and fields.

“SKM’s five-member committee discussed the letter. Leaders are still figuring out the details with government officials. We have asked for clarifications from the government which we expect to receive by 2 PM on December 8,” said Balbir Singh Rajewal.

As a recap, farmers have the following major demands before the government currently:

-          legal guarantee to Minimum Support Price (MSP) for any agricultural produce that they sell;

-          withdrawal of Electricity (Amendment) Bill and deletion of penal provisions related to Delhi Air Quality regulation;

-          withdrawal of cases against protesting farmers;

-          rehabilitation and compensation for the families of people who were martyred during the struggle.

Of these, sources said the government is also willing to work with farmers to compensate and rehabilitate families of the 700 martyred farmers. During the winter session, Union Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Minister Narendra Tomar said it has “no records” of such deaths.

“The government says it is willing to compensate farmers. But we feel if the central government follows the Punjab government model of one job and Rs. 5 lakh for each martyr, then their kin will receive justice to some extent,” said All India Kisan Sabha President Ashok Dhawale.

Similarly, the government promised to table Bills regarding withdrawal of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill after talking to stakeholders. However, as leaders pointed out the government had already agreed to dismiss the Bill in previous discussions. As for the air quality legislature, farmers demanded the deletion of Section 15 that penalises farmers for stubble burning. For MSP, the central government asked SKM representatives to create a committee with officials, experts in this regard. However, leaders have already demanded a written assurance from the government first.

“The government says it will include other farmer leaders. We are worried, the government may include individuals who support WTO motives,” said Chaduni.

Further, Dhawale said, “The SKM struggled for the last one year for the realisation of MSP. As such, farmer representatives of unions that supported the farm laws or dismissed MSP requirements should not be part of the committee.”

Farmers other demands include martyr memorial and the suspension and arrest of Union Minister Ajay Mishra for his alleged involvement in the Lakhimpur Kheri killings. Leaders said that details about the latter will be discussed on Wednesday.

While neither denying nor confirming rumours of an approaching conclusion to the farmers protest, farmer leaders said that the hundreds of farmer deaths in the last one year could have been avoided if the central government had accepted their demands sooner.

Related:

SKM forms five-member committee to hold talks with GoI
Centre refuses compensation to martyred farmers claiming it has “no record”
SKM decries Centre’s tyranny in disallowing debate on farm laws
Parliament repeals farm laws sans discussion, but what's next?
SKM postpones Tractor Rally to Parliament

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