SKM Awaiting Centre's Proposal on Official Letterhead After Reaching Consensus on Lifting Protest
In a significant development, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Wednesday said that it is awaiting proposals made by the union government on its official letterhead and any decision on continuance of agitation at borders of the national capital would be taken in its meeting on November 9. In a press conference held at Singhu Border, Yudhveer Singh from Bharatiya Kisan Union Tikait said that the farmers' organisations have reached a consensus on the centre's proposal. However, the SKM would need the proposal on its official letterhead.
"Samyukta Kisan Morcha confirms to have received a revised draft proposal from the Government of India and that a consensus has been arrived at within SKM, accepting the proposal. Now, a formal communication signed on the Government's letterhead is awaited. SKM will meet again tomorrow at noon, at Singhu Border, to take a formal decision thereafter to lift the morchas," the SKM said in its press conference.
A victory for farmers of Haryana came after the state government reportedly agreed for compensation of Rs five lakh, and a government job to kin of farmers died during the agitation. As per the data compiled by the morcha, 708 farmers died during the year-long agitation. On similar lines, the Uttar Pradesh government has agreed to withdraw the cases against the farmers. The farmers of Haryana have been alleging that Haryana police has booked unidentified 40,000 persons in more than 150 FIRs across the state, including two cases of sedition in Sirsa. The farmers feared being hounded for their blood if these cases were not withdrawn. The farmers in the state have already been summoned in different cases.
Gurnam Singh Chaduni, a veteran leader of the farmers' agitation in Haryana, said that the Government owes compensation and jobs to the kin of dead farmers because they have suffered due to unjust laws imposed upon the people of the country by the current regime.
After a year-long struggle in which farmers braved harsh winters and scorching summers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on November 19 in an address on national television, announced that the Government would repeal three contentious farm laws. Later, both Houses of Parliament, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, gave their nods on November 29. However, the Government did not allow any discussion in the houses, which the opposition parties vehemently criticised.
What did the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Propose?
After the farmers' organisations sent their objections to the Ministry of Home Affairs to its proposal, the centre revised its proposal of withdrawing the cases as per the procedure suggested by farmers' unions. The unions wanted the centre to write letters to states asking them to withdraw cases registered during the year-long agitation. However, the centre remained non-committal to the demands of the morcha regarding the inclusion of only farmers' unions into the committee to deliberate on minimum support price.
Earlier in the day, Ashok Dhawale, President, All India Kisan Sabha, told NewsClick that the centre has agreed to its demands of fixing terms of reference for the committee. However, they are still awaiting the announcement of the committee's formal structure. Dhawale made it clear that it is up to the centre to take a call on the continuance of Ashish Mishra Teni, Minister of State for Home Affairs.
"Without mincing any words, I would like to make it clear that the minister in question should have been sacked in an hour and lodged in jail for the heinous crime of mowing down the farmers and journalists under SUV. The Modi government has chosen to continue with the tainted minister. Nowhere in any democratic country has happened that such a heinous crime was done by a man responsible for maintaining law and order. It explicitly shows how shameless Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leaders can be to grab the power," he said.
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