After Centre's climbdown, farmers announce 'Sansad Chalo' on Nov 29
Emboldened by the Centre's climbdown on three contentious farm laws, farmers' front Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Sunday met at Singhu border and decided on a series of upcoming programmes, including a march to parliament on November 29 -- when the houses meet for Winter Session.
The SKM wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday seeking resumption of talks with the government over their six demands, including a law guaranteeing minimum support price (MSP) for all farmers.
They also demanded withdrawal of cases against farmers and building a memorial for those who lost their lives during protests against the contentious farm laws.
While thanking Modi for announcing repeal of the three farm laws, the SKM alleged, "After 11 rounds of talks, you chose the path of unilateral declaration rather than a bilateral solution."
In the letter, the umbrella body of farmers' unions also demanded compensation and rehabilitation support for their families of farmers who died during the protest.
Despite Modi's announcement that the three farm laws, against which the farmers have been agitating for a year now, will be withdrawn, the farmers have asserted that their protest will continue till the laws are officially withdrawn. Besides a law on MSP, they have also demanded withdrawal of the police cases filed against many of them over the last year.
A statement issued by SKM on Sunday said that a Kisan Mahapanchayat will be held in Lucknow tomorrow, a Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Diwas will be observed on prominent British India politician Sir Chhotu Ram's birth anniversary on November 24, a march to Delhi borders will be organised on November 26 and a march to Parliament on November 29.
The farmers' front has called another meeting on November 27 to review the situation.
At today's meeting, the SKM lauded the Telangana government's decision to financially support the families of the farmers who died during the agitation, "while Mr Narendra Modi or his govt does not acknowledge the heavy and avoidable sacrifices made by around 700 brave farmers".
In a counter to the Prime Minister's remark that there may be something lacking in the government's "tapasya" that they could not "explain the truth" about the laws to some farmers, the SKM said it was the protesting farmers "who did the true tapasya with faith".
"These annadaatas have taken the historic movement to the cusp of a historic first victory with their tapasya and are steadily taking this towards full victory, which will actually be a victory for democracy itself. This victory is not a question of someone's pride or ego, but a matter of lives and livelihoods of millions of ignored and marginalised Indians," it said, asserting that their movement is bigger than a farmers' agitation.