Sack the MoS and make the MSP legal: farmers have presented six demands to Prime Minister Modi

EVEN AS the Center began to prepare the ground for the Union Cabinet to approve on Wednesday the necessary bill to repeal the three agricultural laws, the agricultural unions wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi listing their remaining demands, in particular a legal mandate for the MSP, and said they would continue to protest until all issues were resolved.

“The cabinet is expected to review the withdrawal of the three agricultural laws for approval on Wednesday. Bills to withdraw the laws will then be presented at the next session of Parliament, ”sources said.

Meanwhile, Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) held a press conference at Delhi’s Singhu border protest site, and said that the agricultural unions would continue with various protest events according to schedule, and that a a key meeting would take place on November 27.

SKM called for a mahapanchayat on Monday in Lucknow where several farm leaders, including Rakesh Tikait, will be in attendance.

“The next meeting will be on November 27 to review developments, if any,” SKM said. The meeting will also set a new course of action, the leaders said.

The unions will also celebrate Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Diwas to mark the anniversary of Sir Chhotu Ram’s birth on November 24, farm leaders said.

Two days later, they will hold a “Dilli Border Morche Par Chalo” with tractor rallies across the states to mark a year since the first group of Punjab and Haryana farmers arrived in Singhu. From November 29, the SKM plans to send a group of 500 protesters every day to Parliament in tractors to protest during the winter session.

Farmers’ celebrations at one of the protest sites on Ferozepur Road in Ludhiana after the repeal of agricultural laws on Friday. (Express photo by Gurmeet Singh)

“We wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister. We will focus on several issues, including a legal mandate for MSP. Details of the current MSP committee were discussed in the letter. The Electricity Amendment Bill is a key point of the letter. The Lakhimpur Kheri incident and our demands for action against the Union Minister (Union MoS Ajay Mishra) were also mentioned, ”said Balbir Singh Rajewal of BKU Rajewal.

In the letter, released Sunday evening, SKM said they were “disappointed” due to the lack of “concrete” announcements on their remaining claims. He also asked for a memorial to the “more than 700 farmers” who died during the protests.

The letter called for the immediate withdrawal of action against agricultural protesters who “have been implicated in hundreds of cases during this movement (from June 2020 to date) in Delhi, Haryana, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh and several other states. “.

“We noted that after 11 rounds of talks, you chose the path of a unilateral declaration rather than a bilateral solution; nonetheless, we are pleased that you announced the decision to withdraw the three farm laws. We welcome this announcement and hope that your government will keep this promise as soon as possible and in its entirety, ”the letter said.

Raising their main demand on MSP, the letter from SKM said: “The minimum support price based on the overall cost of production (C2 + 50%) should become a legal right of all farmers for all agricultural products, from so that every farmer in the country can be guaranteed at least the MSP announced by the government for their entire harvest.

In addition to the Electricity Bill and the demand to end all criminal action against farmers for air pollution, the letter referred to the Lakhimpur Kheri incident in UP on October 3, when four protesters were killed after being struck by a convoy of three vehicles, including one owned by MoS Mishra.

“Ajay Mishra Teni, the mastermind of the Lakhimpur Kheri murder case and accused of Article 120B, still roams freely and remains minister in your cabinet. He also shares the stage with you and other high-ranking ministers. He should be sacked and arrested, ”he said.

“During this movement, so far, around 700 farmers have given their lives to the cause, as their supreme sacrifice. There should be compensation and rehabilitation support for their families. To build a martyrs memorial in memory of the martyred farmers, land should be donated at the Singhu border, ”he said.

“Prime Minister, you have asked the farmers to come back to us. We want to assure you that we don’t like to sit on the street. We too wish that after solving these other problems as soon as possible, we return to our homes, our families and our agriculture. If you want the same, then the government should immediately resume talks with Samyukta Kisan Morcha on the above six issues, ”the letter said.

At the Singhu protest site, several demonstrators spoke of a “new wave of energy” in their ranks. “Completing a year is a huge moment for us. If the government still tries to delay repeal, we will stay here for another year. In the meantime, we are preparing various events that will take place in the coming days, ”said Gurinder Singh, a protester from Jalandhar.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Modi announced his decision to repeal the three agricultural laws: the 2020 Farmers and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) Law; Farmers’ Agreement (Empowerment and Protection) on the Agricultural Price Insurance and Services Act 2020; and the Essential Products Act (Amendment) 2020

Indian express reported on Sunday that the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare and the Ministry of Consumer, Food and Public Distribution – the two ministries responsible for enforcing the three laws – have started the process drafting repeal bills.

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