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Farmers Protest: 'Sansad Chalo' Call Postponed, Bill to Repeal Farm Laws to be Tabled on 29 Nov

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Farmers

Farmers postponed their 'sansad chalo,' or 'march to Parliament,' call on Saturday, two days before the government is set to introduce a bill repealing farm laws that have sparked widespread protests.

"The 'Parliament march' has been rescheduled for November 29. On the 29th, the administration has guaranteed that the laws will be repealed in Parliament "Following a meeting of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, farmer leader Dr Darshan Pal told reporters.

"We sent a letter to the Prime Minister with a long list of demands. We demanded that cases against farmers be dismissed, that MSP be guaranteed, that (families of) farmers slain in this movement be compensated, that stubble burning cases are dismissed, and that electricity bills be annulled "he stated

"We'll wait until December 4th and then announce our next course of action," he continued.

Rakesh Tikait, a farmer leader, announced earlier this week that over 60 tractors and over 1,000 people will march on Parliament on Monday, the first day of the winter session.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar will present a bill to repeal the three agriculture laws that were enacted last year amid a clamour and confusion in Parliament, according to the government.

The BJP together with the Congress has given whips to all of its MPs, requiring them to be present on the opening day.

Tomar urged farmers to halt their agitation saying there is "no point" in continuing it now that the government had decided to repeal the laws. He also stated that a committee will be formed to address farmers' concerns, and that the government had agreed to a number of demands.

However, he made no mention of a law that would guarantee MSP, or minimum support price, which is still a major demand among protesting farmers.

In a surprising declaration last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the farm regulations will be rolled back and ordered farmers to stand down and return home, which they refused.

Others have protested the regulations, and thousands have been camped out on Delhi's outskirts for more than a year demanding that they be repealed. According to them, the movement will continue until the laws are fully repealed and all requests are granted, including a legal guarantee for MSP.

The over-a-year-long farmers' protest generated national and international news.

Farmers have argued that the laws would put them at the mercy of corporate interests, and that it would mean the end of MSPs, which are critical during times of drought or calamity, especially for small and marginal landholders.

The administration said that the rules would assist farmers and that it was willing to provide a written (but not legally binding) guarantee for MSP.

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