Key meeting concludes; Protests to continue as planned, says farmers’ body

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmers’ unions protesting against the three contentious farm laws, said on Sunday that their year-long protest against the Union government will continue as planned.

The agitation will continue till the formal cancellation of the three draconian farm laws, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday. The farmer leaders have also demanded a law on Minimum Support Prices, and withdrawal of the cases filed against many of them over the last year.

The umbrella body of 40 farm unions held a key meeting at Delhi’s Singhu border on Sunday morning to discuss the future course of its actions.

“We have discussed the repeal of farm laws. After this, some decisions were taken. The pre-decided programmes of the SKM (Sanyukta  Kisam Morcha, an umbrella body of farmers) will continue as it is,” Balbir Singh Rajewal told media after the meeting.

The programmes include a Kisan Mahapanchayat in Lucknow on 22 November, gatherings at all borders on 26 November- first anniversary of year-long agitation- and a march to parliament on 29 November, Rajewal added.

He also told media that another meeting will be held on 27 November to decide on the future course of action.

The farmers also said they will write an open letter to the Prime Minister listing their demands.

“Demand for a statutory guarantee for a fair MSP is an integral part of the current agitation,” The SKM said in a statement on Saturday.

The protesting farmers fear that the government plans to dismantle the Minimum Support Price regime under the guise of reforming the agricultural sector. The MSP is the guaranteed amount paid to farmers when the government buys their produce. 

On Friday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Union government will repeal the three new farm laws in the Winter Session of Parliament.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at Delhi’s border entry points since November 2020, seeking the withdrawal of the farm laws.

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