Farmer Protest / Today farmers will hold fourth round of talks with the government - march to Delhi or return home?

Vikrant Shekhawat : Feb 18, 2024, 08:24 AM
Farmer Protest: The fourth round of talks will be held today between the protesting farmer leaders and the government on several demands including the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops. It is hoped that a solution can be found in this meeting. Before this, three rounds of talks between the farmers and the government remained inconclusive. Farmers have been camping on the Punjab-Haryana border for several days with their demands. At the same time, today in Haryana, there will be a Mahapanchayat of farmers, labor organizations and sarpanches under the leadership of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Chadhuni faction), in which the future strategy will be discussed. Due to the farmers' movement, the ban on internet services in 7 districts of Haryana has been extended for 2 more days.

Here, before the fourth round of talks, farmer organizations have raised the demand to bring an ordinance to provide legal guarantee to MSP. Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) President Sarwan Singh Pandher says that if the government wants a solution to the farmers' protest, then it should bring an ordinance with immediate effect that it will make a law on MSP, then the discussion can move forward. Pandher says that the government can bring an ordinance overnight, the validity of which is six months.

There will be talks with our government today – Pandher

Sarwan Singh Pandher said that today is our sixth day at Shambhu border. Today we are also talking to the government. The government has sought some time and said that it will discuss this matter with the Union Ministers and find a solution. KMSC of Pandher and Bharatiya Kisan Union (Sidhupur) led by Jagjit Singh Dallewal are two farmer organizations. Both of them are leading the farmers' protest. Farmers are currently stuck at the Shambhu border between Haryana and Punjab. Farmers organization took out a tractor rally across the state on Saturday in support of the demand for legal guarantee of MSP in Haryana.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Chadhni) President Gurnam Singh Chadhani said that the central government had promised to guarantee MSP to the farmers in December 2021 and now they are taking a U-turn. In 2011, when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat and the chairman of a financial committee comprising chief ministers to analyze the Swaminathan Committee report, he had asked then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to provide a legal guarantee on the minimum support price. Why is the Center running away from giving legal guarantee on MSP?

BKU will also protest on 21st February

Another Punjab-based farmers' organization BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) said it would hold protests across the city over the weekend and the BKU unit in West UP led by Rakesh Tikait said farmers would protest on February 21 to press for their demands, including MSP. Will protest in Uttarakhand, UP, Haryana, Punjab. On the fifth day of the farmers' protest, a caravan of thousands of farmers in trucks, tractors and cars left for the national capital from Punjab, but they were stopped from entering Haryana. Meanwhile, the police appeared in action mode. He released tear gas shells on the protesters.

Talks stalled on these demands

  • Minimum Support Price (MSP) Guarantee Law
  • loan waiver of farmers
  • Consent on giving pension to farmers above 60 years of age
What are the demands of the farmers?

  • MSP guarantee law should be made for the purchase of all crops.
  • The prices of crops should be decided according to the report of Dr. Swaminathan Commission. MSP was fifty percent more than the average cost of production of all crops.
  • Loans of farmers and farm laborers should be waived off. Farmers should be kept out of pollution laws.
  • Farmers above 60 years of age should be given a pension of Rs 10,000.
  • Land Acquisition Act 2013 should be re-implemented.
  • The culprits of Lakhimpur Kheri incident should be punished. The bail of the accused should be cancelled.
  • Free trade agreements should be banned.
  • The Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 should be repealed.
  • Under MNREGA, 200 days of work and wages of Rs 700 should be given every year.
  • Compensation and government jobs should be given to the families of farmers killed in the farmers' movement. According to the agreement, a compensation of Rs 10 lakh should be given to the injured. All the cases registered during all the movements across the country including Delhi Morcha should be cancelled.
  • Strict laws should be made against companies selling fake seeds, pesticides and fertilizers. The government should do crop insurance itself.
  • A National Commission should be constituted for chilli, turmeric and other spices.
  • Looting of tribal lands should be stopped by implementing the 5th Schedule of the Constitution.