SKM forms committee for farmers' dialogue with Centre

SKM sends five names for panel to discuss MSP; agitation to continue

Tikait said that the next meeting of the Morcha will take place on December 7 at 11 AM to decide the future course of the movement

Bharatiya Kisan Union Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait addresses media after farmers' meeting at Singhu Border. Credit: PTI Photo

Asserting that farmers will not move from protest sites till the government withdrew cases registered against them during stir against farm laws, Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Saturday formed a five-member panel to talk to the government to discuss their demands including on MSP.

A decision on the next course of action by SKM, an umbrella body of 40 farmer unions, will be decided after another meeting on December 7. Among other things, farmers were also demanding space for setting up a memorial at the Kundli border.

Also Read | SKM sends list of 702 farmers who died during protest

Gurnam Singh Chaduni, Yudhvir Singh, Balbir Singh Rajewal, Ashok Dhawle, and Shiv Kumar Kakka were named panel members after a much anticipated SKM, which was earlier saying that it was yet to get written intimation from the government seeking representation of SKM for talks. Centre had on Tuesday demanded five names from the SKM for the panel.

Other demands of the farmers are compensation to kin of farmers who died during the agitation and withdrawal of cases against the protesters.

Farmer leader Darshan Pal Singh said, "Our agitation will continue. Right now we will maintain status quo. This has been the stand from long that as long as cases are not withdrawn, the agitation will continue". SKM leaders demanded assurance in writing to this effect.

Also Read | MSP to continue, committee formed to make it more effective and transparent: Tomar

The government has already withdrawn the three contentious farm laws through a Bill in Parliament after nearly one year of agitation of farming bodies against the laws that had also led to NDA ally Shiromani Akali Dal walking out of the ruling alliance.

On Friday, Haryana farmer leaders had a meeting with Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar but no agreement was reached then. The same day UP Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath gave nod to implement Atma Nirbhar Krishak Integrated Development Scheme in Uttar Pradesh from 2021-22 under which 1,475 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) will be formed in the next three years with an expenditure of Rs 1,220.92 crore between 10 years from the financial year 2021-22 to 2031-32.

Clearly, the BJP government in states affected by farmer protests are trying to diffuse the tussle with the farming community, which plays a crucial role in deciding election outcomes in agrarian states like UP, Punjab and Haryana.

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