New Delhi: Thousands of farmers on Monday gathered at the Ramlila Ground in New Delhi, demanding the government to fulfill its "written commitments" it made to them in December 2021
The farmers have converged under the banner of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which had forced the government to withdraw three anti-farmer laws by staging a year-long dharna at Delhi borders.
A 15-member SKM delegation met Union Agriculture Miniter Narendra Singh Tomar at the Krishi Bhawan in the afternoon and submitted their demands in writing, and urged him not to force the farmers to start another protest.
Farmer leader Darshan Pal said. "There are several unresolved issues and these demand another 'andolan'. We will convene another meeting on April 30 in Delhi. I ask all farmers unions to take out rallies in their respective states and hold panchayats in the run-up to the meeting."
"We do not want to protest daily but we are forced to do it. If the government does not heed our demands, we will launch another andolan which will be bigger than the protest against the farm laws," he said.
Pal said the demands included a law for MSP, complete debt waiver, pension, crop insurance, withdrawal of cases registered against farmers and compensation to families of farmers who died during the protest against now-repealed farm laws.
Farmers demand to put Union Minister Ajay Mishra behind bars
The farmers also demanded the dismissal and incarceration of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra and compensation for crop damage due to hail storm and unseasonal rains.
Pal said Tomar told the delegation that power subsidies to farmers have been exempt from the Electricity Act. "This demand has already been met. It is a big win for the SKM," he said.
The minister told the delegation that the government has already issued directions to provide compensation for crop damage due to hail and unseasonal rains.
"We also discussed the issue of a legal guarantee for MSP with the minister. Tomar said he will personally intervene so that cases registered against farmers are withdrawn and compensation to families of deceased farmers is provided," the farmer leader said.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)