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Unanimity prevails: Finally farmers, Centre on same platform

We are in agreement with the government regarding our demands. We will decide about suspending the agitation after the meeting tomorrow: Farm leader
Farmers listen to a speaker at the Singhu border protest site on Wednesday
Farmers listen to a speaker at the Singhu border protest site on Wednesday
PTI Picture

Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 09.12.21, 01:45 AM

The year-long farmers’ protest at Delhi’s borders could be called off in a day or two as the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), the collective leadership which has been spearheading this agitation, on Wednesday found the government’s revised proposal on their demands acceptable and is now awaiting an official letter.

Farmer leader and Morcha core committee member Gurnam Singh Chaduni said the Centre had sent a fresh proposal on Wednesday on their pending demands. 

“We are in agreement with the government regarding our demands. We will decide about suspending the agitation after the meeting tomorrow,” Chaduni told a news conference.

The Morcha has not called off their protest yet because the proposals have been sent to them only informally. Given past experience of the government reneging on assurances, the leaders said they will await a formal letter detailing all that has been agreed to before taking a final call on the agitation on Thursday.

The Morcha leaders did not go into details of the revised proposal from the government. However, sources said the government has met them halfway on the clarifications and assurances they had sought on Tuesday to the first written proposal sent by the home ministry.

On their demand that the MSP committee have only the Morcha representing the farmers, the government does not seem to have agreed. However, the government has clarified that the mandate of the committee will be to find ways to ensure that all farmers get MSP with the added assurance that there will be no reduction in procurement that is already going on in different states at the MSP rate.

As for the withdrawal of all cases by state governments as well as central agencies, this has been accepted by the Centre and also by the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. Punjab had already announced withdrawal of all cases and the Centre will issue an appeal to all other state governments which have registered cases against protesting farmers to withdraw them too.

There has been no movement on the demand for Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to pay compensation in the same manner as Punjab to the farmers who died during the protest. Punjab has paid Rs 5 lakh per deceased farmer and also a job to a family member.

The Morcha said in a statement: “A formal communication signed on the government's letterhead is awaited. SKM will meet again tomorrow at 12 noon, at Singhu Border, to take a formal decision thereafter to lift the morchas.”

On the issue of clearing the protest sites if the protest is called off on Thursday, Joginder Singh Ugrahan of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) – which has carried out the mobilization of peasants at the Tikri border – told PTI that the morcha cannot be lifted overnight in view of the large numbers present at the protest sites. 

“We have a several kilometres-long convoy and it cannot be made to go all of a sudden. We will require to plan it properly. It may take days, maybe four to five days.’’

The Morcha leaders did not go into details of the revised proposal from the government. However, sources said the government has met them halfway on the clarifications and assurances they had sought on Tuesday to the first written proposal sent by the home ministry.

On their demand that the MSP committee have only the Morcha representing the farmers, the government does not seem to have agreed. However, the government has clarified that the mandate of the committee will be to find ways to ensure that all farmers get MSP with the added assurance that there will be no reduction in procurement that is already going on in different states at the MSP rate.

As for the withdrawal of all cases by state governments as well as central agencies, this has been accepted by the Centre and also by the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. Punjab had already announced withdrawal of all cases and the Centre will issue an appeal to all other state governments which have registered cases against protesting farmers to withdraw them too.

There has been no movement on the demand for Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to pay compensation in the same manner as Punjab to the farmers who died during the protest. Punjab has paid Rs 5 lakh per deceased farmer and also a job to a family member.

The Morcha said in a statement: “A formal communication signed on the government's letterhead is awaited. SKM will meet again tomorrow at 12 noon, at Singhu Border, to take a formal decision thereafter to lift the morchas.”

On the issue of clearing the protest sites if the protest is called off on Thursday, Joginder Singh Ugrahan of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) – which has carried out the mobilization of peasants at the Tikri border – told PTI that the morcha cannot be lifted overnight in view of the large numbers present at the protest sites. 

“We have a several kilometres-long convoy and it cannot be made to go all of a sudden. We will require to plan it properly. It may take days, maybe four to five days.’’



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