SKM suspends 29 November Parliament tractor march; Bill to repeal farm laws to be tabled on Monday

The move to suspend the march comes two days ahead of the commencement of the Winter Session of Parliament, during which the government will introduce a new Bill to repeal the three farm laws

Press Trust of India November 27, 2021 16:26:59 IST
SKM suspends 29 November Parliament tractor march; Bill to repeal farm laws to be tabled on Monday

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, in its meeting, decided to defer the tractor march and open doors of talks with the government. AFP

New Delhi: The Samyukt Kisan Morcha has suspended its 29 November tractor march to Parliament and it will hold a meeting next month to decide its future course of action, farmer leaders said on Saturday.

The decision to suspend the march comes two days ahead of the commencement of the Winter Session of Parliament, during which a bill to repeal three central farm laws is slated to be introduced.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmer unions protesting against the laws for the past one year, also said it wants an assurance in Parliament on their demand for a legislation guaranteeing farmers Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their crops.

SKM leader Darshan Pal, while addressing a press conference, said, "We are suspending the Parliament march on Monday. We had written to the prime minister for withdrawal of cases against farmers, allotment of land for building a memorial for farmers who lost their lives (during the protest), suspension of Ajay Mishra Teni' from the Union Cabinet over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, along with other issues."

He said that a reply is awaited and SKM will hold another meeting on 4 December.

The SKM also demanded that the government should initiate a dialogue with them in a respectful way.

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the three farm laws would be withdrawn.

Though farmer unions had welcomed the government's move, they said their protest would continue until the laws are totally and formally withdrawn and other demands, including legal guarantee of MSP, are met.

Meanwhile, the government will introduce a new Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday to repeal the three farm laws. The Bill states that though "only a small group of farmers are protesting" against these legislations, the need of the hour is to take along everyone for inclusive growth.

The Bill has been listed for introduction and passage in Lok Sabha on the first day of the Winter Session of Parliament on Monday.

The Bill was passed by the Union Cabinet after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an announcement that all three farm laws will be repealed in the Winter Session. It will be introduced by the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in the house.

The ruling BJP and main opposition party Congress have issued whips to their MPs to be present on the day.

"Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar will move for leave to introduce a Bill to repeal the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation Act) Act, 2020, the Essential Commodites (Amendment) Act, 2020 and to amend the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. Also to introduce the bill," Lok Sabha's list of business 29 November, states.

Despite the prime minister's surprise announcement to repeal the bills, farmers' unions have announced that they will continue with their protest until their other demands are not met. However, they called off their proposed tractor March to Parliament on Monday.

"To enable the farmers to sell their produce at higher prices and benefit from technological improvements, farmers have been provided access to agriculture markets which will help them increase their income. With this objective three farm laws...were enacted, as a part of the government's endeavour to improve the condition of farmers including small and marginal farmers," the Bill to repeal three farm laws states.

It also says that even though "only a group of farmers are protesting against these laws, the government has tried hard to sensitise the farmers on the importance of the farm laws and explain the merits through several meetings and other forums".

Without taking away the existing mechanisms available to farmers, new avenues were provided for trade of their produce, the proposed legislation states.

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