As the massive demonstration by farmers on the borders of Delhi completes one year and the headline agenda stands achieved, the protest sites on the borders of the capital are not showing signs of a retreat.
More farmers from Punjab and Haryana have started leaving for Singhu and Tikri borders near Delhi via rail and roads. A prominent farmers’ union has decided to organize a mahapanchayat on Friday to mark one year of the protest near the Delhi border.
Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise announcement last week that the three controversial farm laws will be rolled back, the farmers had said they would not be ending their protest till the laws are formally repealed and other demands are met.
On Sunday, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha – the group of farmers’ unions spearheading the protest – wrote an open letter to PM Modi seeking immediate resumption of talks with the government over their six outstanding demands, including a law guaranteeing minimum support price (MSP) for all farmers.
The umbrella body of farmers’ unions also sought withdrawal of cases against farmers and building a memorial for the protesters who lost their lives during the agitation against the three contentious Central farm laws.
It also sought removal of penalties listed under the ‘Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act, 2021’ as well as the sacking and arrest of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra, whose son is an accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
At a meeting on Sunday, the farmers’ group also decided on a series of upcoming programmes, including a march to parliament on November 29 – when the houses meet for Winter Session.
Thousands of farmers have been camped out on the borders of the capital New Delhi since November last year, in one of the biggest challenges for PM Modi since he came to power in 2014. The rollback of the laws comes just ahead of critical elections in states like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.