Farmers To Resume Agitation, Submit Demands To PM, LoP: Samyukt Kisan Morcha

Farmers' body SKM said it will submit charter of demands to the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Lok Sabha and Members of Parliament on July 16, 17 and 18, respectively.

Protesting farmers and security personnel at Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border Photo: PTI/File

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of over 40 farmer unions, on Thursday, said the agitation on pending demands of legal guarantee of Minimum Support Price (MSP), farm loan waiver and other issues will be resumed. The date for the resumption of agitation was not declared by the SKM.

On August 9, the SKM will observe "Quit India Day" as "Corporates Quit India Day" by holding demonstrations across the country in support of its charter of demands, the organisation said.

"The general body has decided to resume the agitation demanding implementation of the agreement, dated December 9, 2021, that the Union government has with the SKM, signed by the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Government of India, and other key demands affecting the livelihood of farmers," the SKM said.

SKM said it will submit charter of demands to the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Lok Sabha and Members of Parliament on July 16, 17 and 18, respectively.

Farmers' Protest So Far

Farmers from Punjab, on February 13 this year, started a 'Delhi Chalo' protest but were stopped at borders from entering Delhi where they planned to press for their demands before the central government.

The march was being led by over 250 farmers’ unions under the banner of the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM), which claims to have the allegiance of about 100 unions, and the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (non-political), a platform of another 150 unions.

The SKM (non-political) is a split of SKM since July 2022 and is currently coordinated by Jagjit Singh Dallewal, president of the Punjab-based Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Sidhupur farm union. Dallewal broke away from SKM following differences of opinion in the union’s leadership.

The demands of the farmers' protest were different from those during the year-long 2020-21 farmers' agitation. Back then, hundreds of farmers united under the undivided SKM camped at Delhi borders against former farm laws, which were later repealed by the government.

The key demand of a 12-point agenda was a law to guarantee an MSP for all crops and the determination of crop prices in line with the Dr MS Swaminathan Commission’s Report.

Besides a legal guarantee of MSP, the farmers are demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases and "justice" for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, and compensation to the families of the farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020-21.

Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur borders) were heavily secured, while the Shambhu border between Punjab and Haryana was also barricaded to stop protesting farmers from entering the national capital in February this year.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday ordered the Haryana government to remove within a week the barricading set up at the Shambhu border near Ambala where farmers have been camping since February 13 when their 'Delhi Chalo' march was stopped.