New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the repeal of the three farm laws and appealed to the agitating farmers to return home, the plea appeared to fall on deaf ears with the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmers' unions, deciding to continue the protests, including the mahapanchayat in Lucknow on November 22, tractor march on November 29 and other rallies.
The unions held a committee meeting on Saturday to discuss the future course of action. "The Lucknow mahapanchayat will continue and likewise the November 29 tractor march will continue. We will also celebrate one year of the protest at Singhu," the SKM said.
The union said the PM's announcement on Friday was a one side conversation. "Until we are satisfied the protest will continue," the leaders said after the meeting. To observe one year of the agitation, the SKM had announced that 500 farmers would participate in peaceful tractor marches to Parliament every day during the winter session starting November 29.
Farm leader Gurnam Singh Charuni said a discussion over minimum support price, cases registered against farmers and compensation to the families of deceased farmers would be discussed again on Sunday.
The SKM said their agitation was not just against the repeal of the three laws but also for a statutory guarantee for remunerative prices for all agricultural produce. "We will present these views to the government whenever it talks to the farmers. We have said that the talks should continue. If this issue is heading towards a resolution, it should go that way," Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait said.
The opposition parties continued to mock the government on Saturday, with BSP chief Mayawati demanding a law to guarantee MSP and withdrawal of cases against protesters. Union minister VK Singh said there is a fight for supremacy in farmer outfits which are not thinking about benefits to small farmers. "What is black in the farm laws other than the ink used to write them?"