After Farm Laws Repeal, SKM Writes Open Letter to PM Modi, Lists Six Demands
The letter asked for the immediate resumption of talks with the government over their demands.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Sunday, 21 November, wrote an open letter to Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, putting forth six conditions and said that they would continue the agitation if the government failed to discuss those six issues with the farmers.
The letter asked for the immediate resumption of talks with the government over their demands, which include a law guaranteeing minimum support price (MSP) for all farmers.
The open letter, sent after two days of meetings by the umbrella farmers' body, sought to remind Modi that the repeal of the three farm laws was not the only demand by the agitating farmers.
It comes days after Modi announced that the government will repeal the three contentious farm laws passed by the Parliament in 2020.
What Does the Letter Say?
The farmers' first and foremost demand is to make the MSP a legal right for all crops and for all farmers. The letter reminded the prime minister that it was a committee under his chair that had in 2011 recommended this to the then prime minister and his government later announced it in the Parliament too.
The second demand is to withdraw the draft Power Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2020/2021, which, the SKM said, the government had promised to withdraw but inserted it in the Parliament's proceedings.
The SKM has also demanded that cases against farmers be withdrawn and a memorial be built for protestors who lost their lives in the nearly year-long agitation. Another of their demands is the sacking and arrest of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Misra, whose son is an accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
The letter has also sought the removal of provisions to punish farmers (who burn stubble) under the Commission for Air Quality Management Act for Delhi and its Surrounding Regions (CAQM) Act.
"There are several other issues that have been raised during the last one year or so of our agitation, which too need to be looked into immediately," the SKM said in the letter.
Farmers Hold Meeting
Earlier on Sunday, farmer bodies held a meeting at the Singhu protest site near Delhi-Haryana border to decide the course of action.
After the announcement, the SKM had indicated that it would continue to occupy the six protest sites until the legislation is withdrawn in the Parliament's winter session.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait had earlier said that the agenda in the SKM meeting would be to discuss other issues, including the withdrawal of cases against protesters and the issue of farmers' deaths.
“SKM's pre-decided programmes will continue as it is including the Kisan panchayat in Lucknow on 22 November, gatherings at all borders on 26 November and the march to Parliament on 29 November,” farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said after the meeting.
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