Farmers' body defers Nov 29 tractor march to Parliament

Farmers defer November 29 tractor rally to Parliament after fresh appeal from Centre

The SKM also demanded that the government should initiate a dialogue with them in a respectful way

File image of farmers during a tractor rally at Singhu border. Credit: PTI Photo

Agitating farmers have deferred the tractor rally to Parliament planned for Monday after a fresh appeal from Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to end the year-long protests against the three farm laws.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), at its meeting on Saturday afternoon, decided to deliberate on the future course of the protests at a meeting on December 4.

Earlier, Tomar announced that the government had accepted the demand of the farmers' organisations to decriminalise stubble burning – one of the six demands put forth by them – and made a fresh appeal to end the agitation on the borders of the national capital.

On the demand to withdraw cases against farmers during the course of the agitation, the minister said a decision on it could be taken by the respective state government after examining the severity of the offence. He also put the onus of fulfilling the demand for compensation on the state governments.

Also Read | Centre decriminalises stubble burning by farmers, says Narendra Singh Tomar

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the setting up of a committee to examine the demands of a more transparent MSP system.

Tomar said the committee would have representatives from farmers' organisations and hence the demand on MSP was also fulfilled.

“I appeal to all farmers organisations to be large-hearted and end the protests,” Tomar said, pointing out that the government has already taken the decision to repeal the three farm laws.

The SKM slammed the Modi government for making unilateral announcements on their demands without any discussion with them.

“In a democracy, it is the duty of an elected government to discuss with the protesting farmers and resolve the disputes amicably,” Darshan Pal, a leader of the SKM, told reporters here.

Pal asked the government to hold discussions with the SKM on the remaining demands before December 3 and a decision on the future course of the agitation would be taken the next day.

“The struggle will continue till all the demands are met,” Pal said.

In a letter to the Prime Minister on November 21, the SKM had placed six demands – legal cover for MSP, withdrawal of cases against farmers, decriminalising stubble burning, removal of Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni, shelving the amendments to the Electricity Act and a memorial to 700 farmers who lost their lives in the year-long agitation.

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