Farm protest: Centre to drop cases against farmers, ensure MSP

A. M. Jigeesh | | | Updated on: Dec 08, 2021
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Farmers to meet today on calling off protests

The Centre on Wednesday agreed to unconditionally withdraw all cases against the farmers and including their representatives in the panel to ensure procurement and Minimum Support Price for crops.

The general body of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) unanimously accepted the new draft statement and asked the Centre for a formal communication “signed on the government’s letterhead” so that the protests could be withdrawn on Thursday. The SKM general body will meet again on Thursday.

The Centre said in the revised draft offered to include representatives of the SKM in the proposed panel to ensure MSP for all farmers and reiterated that it will not stop procurement and MSP. “In Tuesday’s draft, the panel’s mandate was not specifically mentioned. But the revised draft says that it will find out a way to ensure MSP. So we accepted it,” a leader of the SKM said.

The new draft said it will also appeal the States to withdraw the cases against protesting farmers immediately. It said the governments in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana are also in complete agreement that cases should be withdrawn. “Earlier draft put a condition that the cases will be withdrawn only if we withdraw the protests. It was not acceptable, but now the Centre has changed the position,” the leader said.

Farmers’ deaths

On compensation for the families of farmers who died during the year-long protests, the new draft said Haryana and Uttar pradesh governments have agreed to the SKM proposal in principle. The draft also cited a public declaration of the Punjab government on the matter.

Other demands

On the draft amendments to Electricity Bill, the Centre said it will not be brought to Parliament without discussion with all stakeholders, including the SKM. On the penalty provisions on stubble burning, the Centre said it has already been decriminalised.

The five-member panel of the SKM including Ashok Dhawle and Yudhveer Singh, were about to hold discussions with Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday, but it did not take place after the tragic death of Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat.

“We have unanimously decided to approve the new draft. The attempts to create division among the SKM did not succeed. We will wait for a formal statement of the government. We are meeting at 12 pm on Thursday. A final decision on the withdrawal of the protests will be taken there,” said SKM leader P Krishnaprasad.

Published on December 09, 2021

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