Farmers Set To End Protests As Centre Accepts Almost All Demands: Sources

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Farmers and opposition parties have been protesting the centre’s farm laws since September 2020 (File)

Highlights

  • Farmers have received written assurance over their demands, sources said
  • The assurances include the farmers’ demand for MSP guarantee, they said
  • Centre wrote to unions that all police cases will be dropped, they said

New Delhi:
The centre has given protesting farmers written assurance their demands – which include legal guarantee for MSP – will be met, sources said Tuesday. If the offer is taken, the farmers will halt a protest that has rumbled on for over 15 months.

Here are the top 10 points in this big story:

  1. Sources said the centre told farmer unions it will form a committee to decide the MSP issue. The committee will consist of officials from the centre and states, as well as experts and reps from the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the umbrella body of farmer unions that has led this entire protest.

  2. Sources also said the centre has agreed to drop all police cases against farmers – this includes stubble burning complaints and those filed by Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in connection with violent clashes with security forces over the past several months.

  3. The question of compensation – a point raised by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi when he accused the centre of lying – was also mentioned. The farmers referred to the Rs 5 lakh offered by Punjab, to which the centre said UP and Haryana had, in principle, agreed to similar measures.

  4. The farmers are discussing the proposal. It is understood that while they are amenable, there is one sticking point – the centre wants the farmers to stand down before police cases are dropped. Another round of talks to iron out this point is likely, sources said.

  5. Farmers had earlier also demanded the sacking of junior Home Minister Ajay Mishra, whose son, Ashish, has been arrested in connection with the running over of four farmers in UP’s Lakhimpur. The centre, however, had dismissed any such talk. It is understood that no such offer has been in today’s letter, and that farmers have accepted that this demand is unlikely to be met.

  6. Last week farmers said Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to them (via a phone call) to discuss outstanding issues; this was after their protests forced the recall of the farm laws.

  7. The farmers constituted a five-member panel to hold talks – talks that were to include their demand to legalise MSP and withdraw police cases against the protesters.

  8. The centre was given a ‘deadline’, which expired today. “… if a compromise is found, then there is a possibility of farmers going back from borders,” Yudhvir Singh, a union leader told NDTV.

  9. Farmers across India have battled since September last year, when the three contentious farm laws were pushed through Parliament despite opposition protests. The protests – in which 700 farmers reportedly died – left the centre battling a serious image problem ahead of elections in 2022.

  10. Last month Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered an “apology” and said the laws would be scrapped. On November 29 a bill to that effect was passed in Parliament. But, while they rejoiced at the success of their protest, the farmers refused to stand down, citing concern at the government’s reluctance to discuss the MSP issue.



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