Farmer unions reach consensus on future of stir

Wednesday 08th December 2021 07:46 EST

The protesting farmer unions have reached a consensus on the future course of the agitation as nearly all their demands have been met, but a formal announcement of the decision will be made later, farmer leader Kulwant Singh Sandhu said.

"Nearly all demands raised by us have been met.... Letter (from government with assurances on farmers' demands) has been received. A consensus has been reached, the final decision will be announced tomorrow," Sandhu told reporters after a meeting of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of over 40 farmers' unions.

Another farmer leader and SKM member said the agitation is likely to be called off as there have been some positive responses from the government side on the farmers' demands. However, a final decision will be announced after another meeting of SKM.

The SKM, which has been spearheading the agitation, formed a five-member panel to hold talks with the government on the pending demands of the protesting farmers, including a legal guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP) of crops, compensation to the kin of the farmers who died during the agitation against three agriculture laws and the withdrawal of cases against the protesters.Farmers to continue stir, form panel for talks with govt

The agitating farmer unions on Saturday decided to continue their protests until they get a “formal and satisfactory written response” from the Centre on their six demands that include a legal guarantee for MSP, and formed a five-member committee to talk to the government and work for resolving the pending issues such as withdrawal of cases.

Withdrawal of an estimated over 55,000 cases registered against farmers by different state police forces and the railways, and compensation to kin of those who died during yearlong protests, seem to be the two most pressing demands at this juncture. Majority of the cases (around 48,000 as claimed by unions) were registered in Haryana with remaining reported from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chandigarh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Delhi. Though the Centre has, so far, not invited the unions for any talks, Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), through its decision, sought to suggest a way out to at least wind up protests along Delhi borders. This approach, many participants believe, would also be necessary in view of the upcoming hearing in the Supreme Court which they feel may now take a more insistent view on blocking of highways and toll gates after repeal of laws.

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