On Wednesday evening, 8 December, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which has been at the forefront of farmer protests at Delhi's borders for over a year now, released a statement saying that they have arrived at a consensus to "accept the Centre's proposal."
An urgent meeting of the SKM 's five-member committee was held at the All India Kisan Sabha office at Delhi's KG Marg at 10 am on 8 December, after which a meeting was slated at the Singhu border late afternoon.
'Wouldn't Have Accepted Revised Proposal Had Our Demand Of Withdrawing Cases Against Farmers Not Been Met'
After the second meeting, the SKM released the statement, and also said that a meeting will be held at the Singhu border on 9 December noon to "take a formal decision to lift the morchas."
It is important to note that on 7 December, the SKM has confirmed receiving a written draft proposal from the Home Ministry, and sought "further clarifications on a few points from the government's proposal."
On 8 December, SKM said that it received a "revised draft proposal from the government of India" and that a consensus has been arrived at within SKM "to accept the proposal."
Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav told The Quint, "Police cases against farmers were our biggest concern, and we wouldn't have accepted the revised proposal had our demand of withdrawing police cases against farmers not been met."
"The revised proposal we received today was without a signature. Provided we get the same letter we got today, with a signature, we will call off the morcha. The decision is quite clear, there are no ifs and buts," Yogendra Yadav told The Quint.
Revised Proposal Unanimously Accepted by All Members of SKM
Ashok Dhawale, President of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), said that the revised proposal was unanimously accepted by all members of the SKM.
"Let me tell you that yesterday, when the government's proposal had come in, there was a lot of opposition within the SKM, which is why the Morcha asked for clarifications on some points from the government."
Another demand of the SKM has been that the committee likely to be formed on minimum support price (MSP) should only have members of the SKM, and farm unions that supported the three farm laws.
Dhawale said, "Unless the final, signed draft reaches us, we don't want to give out details. I can say that the major issue in the draft was police charges against farmers. In the revised draft, they have made it crystal clear that they will be withdrawing. We expect the government to send the signed draft to us before the meeting on 9 December."
Dr Ashish Mittal of All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha said, "The issues we had with the government's draft yesterday were around MSP, compensation, and charges against farmers. In the revised draft, the government has responded to these concerns in a way that there is space to move ahead."
The 9 December noon meeting is a crucial one as the decision whether the farmers' agitation at Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur and other sites will continue or will the farmers return home.