Farm Unions Say Won’t End Agitation Until All Demands Met

Farmers unions said on Saturday that they will maintain their protest across states till the Modi administration addressed all of their legitimate demands, including a law ensuring minimum support prices (MSPs) for farm commodities. The farmers' decision comes just a day after the Modi administration announced that it would overturn three farm rules that farmers claim are jeopardising their lives.

Hundreds of farmers will converge in Lucknow for a mahapanchayat on November 22 to urge a legal assurance on MSP, according to a declaration from the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella organization for farm organisations. An MSP is a set price for farm produce that is intended to help farmers avoid having to sell their crops at a loss.

The SKM also chastised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making no mention of the MSP problem in his widely televised statement on Friday, declaring his intention to repeal farm legislation.

Whereas the Prime Minister of India declared his administration's intention to abolish three black agricultural laws, he opted to keep silent on farmers' remaining requests, according to a joint statement from leading farm groups.

Also Read: Repeal Of Farm Laws Highlights PM's Supreme Character: Manohar Lal Khattar

The SKM also asked that Ajay Mishra Teni, the Union Minister of State for Housing, be fired. After ploughing into farmers heading from a demonstration in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri, the minister's son was detained. The tragedy resulted in the deaths of eight persons. Aside from a law on MSPs, the farmer unions would like all charges brought versus farmers to be dismissed unequivocally.

On November 26, the first commemoration of the farmers' protest, farmers will gather in significant numbers at all protesting sites, according to the SKM. Farmers will demonstrate at toll booths and near Parliament throughout the timeframe of the winter session, which begins November 29, according to the farmer unions.

Farming unions are also planning a major march in Mumbai's Azad Maidan on November 28 underneath the umbrella of Samyukta Shetkari Kamgar Morcha, with over a hundred field and labour groups expected to attend.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated in his Friday address to the country that his government would rescind all three agricultural regulations enacted last year, which had sparked violent riots and street fighting by tens of thousands of peasants.

The regulations to be repealed, according to the administration, were intended to loosen limitations on-farm product commerce, allow food dealers to stockpile huge quantities of food for additional business, and provide a nationwide structure for contractual agriculture depending on a written contract.

Farm unions argue that the bill will make them vulnerable to giant corporations and give them little negotiating power.

The move to repeal the restrictions comes before key assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, the nation's most populated state and a barometer state, as well as Punjab, where growers are a powerful voting force.

In a new resolution, the SKM stated that the Modi administration has failed to recognise the huge human price inflicted on demonstrators as a result of its stubborn and egocentric behaviour.