SKM accepts Centre's revised proposal, likely to call off protests

The morcha said it would take a final call after it gets the proposals in writing that their demands have been accepted by the government in the form of a letter. 
An elderly farmer talks to farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, centre, during a rally at Ghazipur, on the outskirts of New Delhi. (Photo | AP)
An elderly farmer talks to farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, centre, during a rally at Ghazipur, on the outskirts of New Delhi. (Photo | AP)

CHANDIGARH: The Samkyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Wednesday agreed to the revised draft proposals sent by the Union government.

The morcha said it would take a final call after it gets the proposals in writing that their demands have been accepted by the government in the form of a letter. 

The SKM has called a meeting on Thursday where it is likely to announce the end of their year-long agitation.

After Wednesday's meeting of the SKM at Singhu Border, senior farmer leader and BKU (Lakhowal Group, Punjab) general secretary Harinder Singh Lakhowal said, "The SKM has received a revised draft proposal from the Union government today and a consensus on the proposals has been arrived at within SKM. Now, a formal communication signed on the government's letterhead is awaited. If we receive it tomorrow, the SKM will meet again on the day to take a formal decision on ending the agitation."

To a question, Lakhowal said more or less their demands have been accepted by the government. However, he did not elaborate saying he would say more only after getting a formal letter from the government.

Meanwhile, farmer leader and BKU (Chaduni Group, Haryana) president Gurnam Singh Chaduni said, "As the earlier draft proposals from the government on the pending demands were not acceptable to them, fresh proposals were made on Wednesday. We are in agreement with the government regarding our demands. A consensus has been reached on the government’s fresh proposals and they are awaiting formal communication on a letterhead by the Centre. No decision yet on calling off the agitation. Another meeting will be held tomorrow."

Another farmer leader Yudhvir Singh said, "The ball is now in the government’s court and a final decision will be taken tomorrow."

A farmer leader on condition of anonymity said, "The government has agreed that there will be SKM representatives on the committee which will be formed by the Centre to look into their demands -- a legal guarantee on Minimum Support Price (MSP), withdrawal of cases against protesting farmers and compensation to kin of farmers who died during the protest."

Earlier in the day, the five-member SKM committee held a meeting in which it discussed the fresh draft proposals. After the meeting, farmer leader Yudhvir Singh said, "They discussed fresh proposals from the Centre. It was in continuation with yesterday’s meeting. We had asked some questions to the government. Today, we received a revised draft. We deliberated on the fresh proposal."

Farmer leader Shiv Kumar Kakka said, "We are hopeful. Things are progressing and moving forward.”

Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have been protesting at the borders of Delhi since November 26 last year to demand repeal of the three farm laws.

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