Farmers yet to withdraw tractor march despite PM Modi's announcement
Farmers' leaders on Saturday said they are yet to withdraw the proposed tractor march to the Parliament during its Winter Session. They stated a final call on the future course of the protest will be taken during a meeting on Sunday. This comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the repeal of three farm laws over which the farmers have been protesting.
Why does it matter?
- The statement suggests farmers are looking to continue the agitation until their other demands are also met.
- A key demand of the farmers is to formulate legislation for Minimum Support Price (MSP).
- Prominent farmers' leader Rakesh Tikait had said, soon after the Prime Minister's announcement, that the protest will continue until at least the laws are formally scrapped in the Parliament.
'Our call of tractor march still stands'
"Our call of tractor march to (the) Parliament still stands," Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) core committee member Darshan Pal said, according to news agency PTI. "A final decision on the future course of the agitation and MSP issues will be taken in a meeting of the SKM at Singhu Border on Sunday," he added.
500 farmers expected to participate in march
"Farmers cannot trust the Centre on farm laws," said farmer leader Sudesh Goyat. "Mobilization of farmers on Delhi borders on November 26 to mark the first anniversary of the agitation will continue." In an earlier announcement, the SKM had said 500 farmers would participate in daily tractor marches to the Parliament during the Winter Session, which commences on November 29.
PM Modi announced the decision yesterday
On the occasion of the Sikh festival Gurpurab Friday, PM Modi said in an unscheduled address the farm laws will be withdrawn. "We haven't been able to explain to our farmers. This is not a time to blame anyone. I want to tell you that we have taken the farm laws back," he said. The laws will likely be repealed in the Winter Session.
Why were the farmers protesting?
Thousands of farmers have been camping at Delhi's borders to protest the laws. They said the laws would leave them at the mercy of corporates and deprive them of their minimum assured earnings. The Centre, on the other hand, said the laws were meant for their benefit and to maximize their income. Multiple rounds of discussions between the protesters and government officials proved inconclusive.