SKM to stick to protests in Lucknow, Delhi, Mumbai; reminds PM of ‘pending’ demands

Our Bureau | | | Updated on: Nov 20, 2021
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The general body scheduled on Sunday will take a final decision

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella organisation of various farmers’ outfits, have decided to continue the protests until there is legal sanctity to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on Friday that the three farm laws will be repealed. A meeting of the steering committee of the SKM decided to observe the first anniversary of the protests as planned earlier by mobilising farmers in large numbers. The general body of the SKM, scheduled on Sunday, will take a final decision on the next course of action.

Meanwhile, the BJP saw different voices over the issue as Pilibhit MP and young leader of the party Varun Gandhi sent a letter to Modi asking him to ensure compensation for the farmers who died during the protests.

Protests to continue as scheduled

The SKM said all announced plans are underway and appealed farmers to join in large numbers in the Lucknow Kisan Mahapanchayat on November 22 and to Delhi's borders on November 26. On November 28, Kisan Mazdoor Mahapanchayat will be held in Mumbai. The SKM reminded the Centre about the “pending demands” such as legally-guaranteed remunerative MSP. “Demand for statutory guarantee for a fair MSP is an integral part of the current agitation. Similarly, the current movement has also been seeking the withdrawal of the Electricity Amendment Bill completely and to keep farmers out of penal clauses related to statutes on air quality regulation in Delhi. All these demands are still pending,” the SKM said.

Compensation sought

The SKM said more than 670 protestors have sacrificed their lives in the movement. “The Modi Government has refused to acknowledge the high human cost that was imposed on the protestors due to its adamant and egoistic behaviour. These martyrs' families have to be supported with compensation and employment opportunities,” it said.

The demand found support from the BJP too. BJP leader and Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday and demanded him to pay compensation of ₹1 crore to the families of about 700 farmers who died during the protests. He said the decision to repeal the three farm laws should have been announced earlier and urged the Prime Minister to take steps to legalise Minimum Support Price.

The letter of Gandhi, who has been taking a different position on the protests of farmers, indicates the unrest within the BJP. Gandhi was reportedly in touch with the Trinamool Congress.

Gandhi thanked Modi for "large-heartedness" in announcing that these three laws will be repealed. "More than 700 of our farmer brothers and sisters have been martyred in this movement, as they peacefully protested in extremely difficult and hostile conditions. I believe that if this decision had been taken earlier, all these innocent lives would not have been lost. It is my humble request to you that while expressing condolences to the families of our farmer brothers and sisters who were martyred in the movement, a compensation of ₹ 1 crore each be announced for them. Furthermore, all politically motivated false FIRs that have been registered as weapons of harassment against our farmers during this movement must immediately be quashed," he added.

Published on November 21, 2021

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