Rakesh Tikait asks PM to guarantee MSP, repeal farm laws in Parliament

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader and one of the prominent faces of farmers’ protest Rakesh Tikait on Friday said the ongoing protest against farm laws will be withdrawn only after the three contentious legislations are repealed in Parliament and legal guarantee on minimum support price (MSP) for crops made.

“The protest will not be withdrawn immediately, we will wait for the day when the farm laws are repealed in Parliament. Along with MSP, the government should talk to farmers on other issues too,” the influential farmer leader from western Uttar Pradesh tweeted in Hindi soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced repealing the three farm laws, which were at the centre of the farmers’ protest since November 26 last year.

“The farmers are not going back home without this… Where we are today (Palghar), crops are not bought at MSP. The issue of MSP is one that affects entire country,” said Tikait who was in Maharashtra’s Palghar for an event on Friday.

He also asked people not to celebrate or distribute sweets now as the “struggle” has to continue.

“Today we have a meeting of our nine-member team of Samyukt Kisan Morcha scheduled at the Singhu border head office. The final decision will be taken there,” Tikait adds.

Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the repeal of the three contentious farm laws against which farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at the borders of Delhi for nearly a year.

Farmers from neighbouring states of Delhi have been protesting the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.

PM chose the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti to announce the repeal of the three laws.

Addressing the nation, Modi said, “Today, while apologising to the countrymen.”

He promised to take back the laws in the next parliamentary session after completing the constitutional process.

Two weeks from today, November 26, would have marked a year of farmers besieging Delhi demanding to strike down the three laws.

The decision right before elections in Uttar Pradesh and other four states where Modi’s BJP is facing backlash due to the ongoing agitation by farmers. Four farmers were killed in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3 after a vehicle that was part of Union minister Ajay Mishra’s convoy ran over protesting farmers.

Farmers’ protest in the borders of Delhi was, at times, lauded as the largest protest gathering in human history.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of protesting farmers, while welcoming the repeal of the three contentious farm laws, reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi that their protests were not limited to this one issue.

“Samyukt Kisan Morcha welcomes this decision and will wait for the announcement to take effect through due parliamentary procedures,” an umbrella body of 40 farm unions, said.

“SKM also reminds the Prime Minister that the agitation of farmers is not just for the repeal of the three black laws, but also for a statutory guarantee of remunerative prices for all agricultural produce and for all farmers. This important demand of farmers is still pending. So also is the withdrawal of the Electricity Amendment Bill. SKM will take note of all developments, hold its meeting soon and announce further decisions,” the farmers’ body said in a statement.

The country’s ‘annadatas’ have made “arrogance bow its head” through ’satyagraha’, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Friday and described the Union’s decision to repeal the farm laws as a “victory against injustice”.