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Farmer unions dig in heels over MSP issue; mahapanchayat in Lucknow on Monday

The farmer unions will also write an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighting their remaining demands.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: November 22, 2021 10:35:38 am
Singhu BorderFarmers protest at the Singhu Border (file photo)

In a press conference held at the Singhu border on Sunday, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) said that protest events will take place as per schedule for the time being. It further added that a meeting will be held on November 27 to decide on the future course of action. Farmer unions will also write an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighting their remaining demands.

“We will write an open letter to the prime minister. In the letter, we will highlight several issues including the legal mandate for MSP. The amendment to the Electricity Act will also be a key issue. Our demand seeking action against the minister for the Lakhimpur incident will be mentioned in the letter as well,” Balbir Singh Rajewal said.

The leader further said that the march to Parliament at the end of the month will take place as per schedule. Meanwhile, the SKM has given the call for a mahapanchayat in Lucknow on Monday. Rakesh Tikait and several other leaders will shortly reach the Uttar Pradesh capital to review the preparations.

On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the farm laws will be repealed and the process completed in the upcoming Winter Session of Parliament.

In an address to the nation, Modi said: “While apologising to the countrymen, today I want to say sincerely that perhaps there must have been some deficiency in our penance that we could not explain the truth like the light of the lamp to the farmer brothers (Mein aaj deshvaasiyon se kshama maangte huey, sachche mann se aur pavitra hriday se kehna chahata hoon ki shayad humaari tapasya mein hi koi kami rahi hogi jiske kaaran diye ke prakash jaisa satya kuchh kisan bhaiyon ko hum samjha nahin paye).”

The announcement, which was a rare climbdown by Modi whose government had defended the laws and criticised those opposing them, was welcomed by SKM.

Despite the announcement, the unions have appealed to farmers across the country to gather at protest sites to mark the first anniversary of the agitation against the farm laws on November 26. The occasion will be marked by tractor rallies across state capitals. On November 26 last year, the first set of farmers had arrived from Punjab and Haryana to protest at the Singhu border.

From November 29, the SKM will send 500 farmers in tractors every day to Parliament to protest during the forthcoming Winter Session.

Farmer leaders said the protests will continue until the government passes a law on MSP, withdraws Electricity Amendment Bill and sacks Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra.

In a tweet in Hindi on Sunday, Bhartiya Kisan Union national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said, “Chalo Lucknow Chalo Lucknow (lets go to Lucknow) for MSP Adhikaar Kisaan Mahapanchayat. The agriculture reforms being talked about are fake and cosmetic. The farm reforms are not going to stop the plight of the farmers. The biggest reform for the farmers and agriculture will be to make a law pertaining to the MSP.”

Vice-president of Uttar Pradesh unit of BKU Harnam Singh Verma told PTI, “The Prime Minister has announced the repeal of the three farm laws, but he did not say when the MSP law will be made. Until a law is made on the MSP, and Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra is removed, the agitation will continue.”

(With PTI inputs)

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