Farmers' body holds meeting after government agrees to repeal laws
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body leading the farmers' protest, is meeting at the Singhu border on Sunday. The aim of the meeting is to decide the way forward as the government has agreed to repeal its contentious agricultural laws. The farmers are likely to discuss the minimum support price (MSP) issue and other scheduled events.
Why does this story matter?
The meeting comes two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Centre has decided to repeal three contentious farm laws. Notably, a Mahapanchayat and a farmers' tractor rally are already scheduled on November 26 and November 29, respectively. The final call on whether to postpone or call off these programs will be taken at Sunday's meeting.
What's on the meeting's agenda?
SKM member Darshan Pal told PTI Saturday that the call for the tractor rally to Parliament "still stands." The protesters will decide the future course of action at Sunday's meeting, Pal said. The farmers are also likely to finalize agenda points to present before the government. These reportedly include an MSP guarantee, revocation of the electricity amendment bill, and withdrawal of cases against protesters.
Demand for MSP law grows
Since Modi's announcement, demands from farmers for a law guaranteeing MSP have only grown louder. Their call has been backed by Opposition parties such as the Indian National Congress along with Left parties. Notably, MP Varun Gandhi of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also demanded a statutory MSP guarantee. Gandhi has been a vocal supporter of the anti-government protest.
Mayawati demands MSP law, withdrawal of cases
Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati also demanded a "new law to ensure a minimum support price for the produce of farmers." She added, "...Barring cases of serious nature, all cases registered against farmers, who are the country's pride, should be withdrawn."
Gather in large numbers on November 26: SKM
The SKM said Saturday that its scheduled programs will continue. It urged farmers to gather in large numbers on all protest sites to mark the one-year anniversary of the farmers' protests on November 26. Farmer leaders have welcomed Modi's announcement. However, they say the protest will continue until the Centre repeals the laws through due parliamentary procedure.
One year on, protest stands strong
It's been nearly a year since vexed farmers have been protesting against three contentious farm laws at the borders of Delhi. The farmers mainly demand the repeal of the laws, which they say will end MSPs and corporatize farming. Despite several rounds of talks, no resolution could be reached. On Friday, Modi announced the repeal of the three laws and apologized to the nation.