- Centre asked five names from SKM for committee on MSP, other pending demands
- SKM, an umbrella body of over 40 farm unions, has been spearheading the farmers' movement
- SKM to hold next crucial meeting to decide future course on December 4
Agitating farmers on Wednesday in a press conference said that they will end their protest only after the government gives written assurance on the pending demands. The development in the ongoing protests has come after 32 farmer unions held a meeting at the Singhu border.
Farmers' meeting was held after reports surfaced on Tuesday that the Centre had approached them and asked to recommend 5 names for a panel on MSP and other pending issues.
SKM on Tuesday said, "there was a telephone call from the Government of India to a Punjab farmer union leader, wherein the Government wanted 5 names to be suggested from SKM's side for a committee...however, we have received no written communication and no details are available so far about what this committee is about, its mandate, or terms of reference. In the absence of such details, it would be premature to comment on this issue," the farmer union added.
The recent developments have taken place a day after both Houses of Parliament passed a Bill to repeal the three contentious farm laws against which farmers have been protesting for a year.
"Today, the Centre has asked for five names from SKM for the committee that will deliberate on the issue of minimum support price (MSP) for crops.
We have not yet decided on the names. We will decide in our December 4 meeting," Darshan Pal told PTI.
In a statement on Tuesday, the SKM clarified that its meeting to discuss the pending demands and to decide the future course of the farmers' movement will be held on December 4 instead of Wednesday.
The SKM, an umbrella body of over 40 farm unions, has been spearheading the farmers' movement against the three farm laws and their other demands, including a legal guarantee for MSP.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that a committee would be formed to take decisions on the subjects of promoting zero budgeting-based agriculture, changing crop patterns as per the changing needs of the country, and making MSP more effective and transparent.
He announced this during his address to the nation in which he also stated that the government has decided to repeal the three farm laws, which were at the centre of protests by farmers for the past year.
The prime minister had said the committee will have representatives from the Central and state governments, farmers, agricultural scientists and agricultural economists.
On Monday, representatives of farmer unions of Punjab had said an emergency meeting of the SKM has been called on Wednesday to decide the future course of action.
The SKM, however, clarified, "All constituent organisations of SKM will take stock of the situation and decide the next steps of the farmers' struggle on December 4, as announced earlier.
(With PTI inputs)