Will stay put on Delhi borders till Parliament session ends, say Samyukta Kisan Morcha leaders : The Tribune India

Will stay put on Delhi borders till Parliament session ends, say Samyukta Kisan Morcha leaders

To decide future course of action at Saturday's core committee meeting

Mukesh Tandon
Tribune News Service
Panipat/New Delhi, November 19

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) welcomed the announcement of repeal of three farm laws on Friday but said its future course of action will be decided after the core committee meetings on Saturday and Sunday.

Also read: Centre takes back 3 farm laws, Modi announces in address to the nation

BKU (Ugrahan) welcomes govt's decision to repeal farm laws

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As drumbeats were heard in several places and sweets distributed at the unexpected “victory”, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait added that the government should talk to farmers over the issue of minimum support price (MSP) of crops and other matters.

"The protest will not be withdrawn immediately, we will wait for the day when the farm laws are repealed in Parliament," Tikait tweeted in Hindi.

SKM, the umbrella body of 40 farm unions, said their agitation was not just against the repeal of the “three black laws” but also for a statutory guarantee to remunerative prices for all agricultural produce.

“This important demand of farmers is still pending," it said, clarifying that it would wait for the announcement to take effect through due parliamentary procedures.

Farmer leader and SKM's core committee member Darshan Pal sai: "We want a legal guarantee on MSP".

"We will not leave the protest sites unless these demands are met. To bring a consensus on the future course of the agitation and discuss MSP and other demands of farmers, the farmers' body will meet on Saturday and Sunday. The final decision will be taken at the SKM's core committee meeting on Sunday," Pal told PTI.

The farmer leaders dedicated the victory to over 700 farmers who died during the one-year-long movement and the people, press, social organisations, and others that supported the movement.

Issues remain, a statement from SKM said on Friday, hoping these would be resolved soon as well.

“SKM hopes that the Government of India, which has experienced a major climbdown in this repeal-related announcement will not allow the announcement to go waste, and will go the full length to fulfill all the legitimate demands of protesting farmers, including statutory legislation to guarantee a remunerative MSP. SKM will also assess all the developments, and in its next meeting, take the necessary further decisions,” the statement.

The joint front also announced that a gathering for farmers at the protest sites on November 26 to mark the first anniversary of anti-farm law agitation being intensified.

The joint front also flagged investigations into the violence at Lakhimpur Kheri. The press release from the SKM voiced its reservations over the inclusion of IPS officer Padmaja Chauhan in a court-monitored panel investigating the incident. Chauhan is part of a Special Investigating Team that the Uttar Pradesh government set up to investigate the Lakhimpur Kheri violence that left eight people, among them four farmers, dead.

The Supreme Court recently appointed Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, a former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, to supervise the investigations.

“A perusal of various reports that have come to the notice of SKM of her (Chauhan’s) tenure in different districts of UP show that this official’s record has been against the farmers’ struggle and also around muzzling of media,” the press release said. “SKM expresses its sincere hope that the Supreme Court will look into this matter, since the very purpose for the reconstitution of the SIT and to appoint retired Justice RK Jain to oversee the investigations is to bring in impartiality and independence.”

Harinder Singh Lakhowal, general secretary, BKU (Lakhowal), welcomed the repeal of the laws saying Prime Minister Narender Modi made the announcement on Gurpurb, which is very good. He said their second major demand of legal guarantee on MSP is pending, and the government should talk with them over the MSP and other demands. The morcha would be continued till the government started the repeal procedure. The next course of action would be decided at the SKM meeting, he added.

Also read: Centre's repeal announcement brings relief to Punjab farmers

Victory for Punjab farmers comes at the cost of 669 lives

PM's farm announcement a huge relief for BJP-JJP govt in Haryana

Withdrawal of farm laws impelled by 'fear of elections': Chidambaram

Yogender Yadav, convener, Jai Kisan Andolan, said it was an historic victory of the farmers but it is a partial step. MSP still has not been decided so far and there is nothing concrete on the MSP. For majority of the farmers in the country, MSP matters most, he added.

Welcoming the decision, Major Singh Punnawal, general secretary, Punjab Kisan Sabha, said it is a one-sided announcement. It was not announced how these laws would be repealed. Farmers’ fraternity is happy with the decision but the government should have to announce the legal guarantee for MSP too, he added.

Kulwant Singh Sandhu, general secretary, Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, said the announcement on the occasion of Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary is a good initiative. “We will stay put on Delhi borders till the Parliament session ends. More people will gather on the Delhi borders on November 26 to mark one year of the movement. We will also talk about other important demands – legal guarantee for MSP, withdrawal of Electricity Amendment bill and others. Besides, the SKM will take note of all developments and hold its meeting soon and announce further action.”

--- With PTI inputs 

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