Farmers across the state — representing 12 farm and labour organisations — have called off their six-day protest after their meeting with chief minister Parkash Singh Badal scheduled for Wednesday (January 27) failed to materialise, owing to the CM’s ill health.
Demanding Rs 40,000 per acre as compensation for damage to cotton crop and better rates for basmati — among other demands — farmers had been camping at Rai Ke Kalan village in Bathinda district, in Amritsar and at other districts.
Sources said the CM office informed the protesting farmers through the district administration that their meeting had been postponed. After this, the protesters held a meeting and decided to call off their protest till the CM resumed office.
Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugarahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri said, “The decision to call off the protest was taken jointly by all farm and labour organisations. This is a temporary withdrawal. If our demands are not met, we will re-launch the protest.”
He added that protests would be held at all district headquarters on Friday (January 29) to revoke the Prevention of Damage to Public and Private Property Act. Other demands include Rs 20,000 per acre for farm labourers who could not get work because of damage to the crop, minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 4,500 per quintal for basmati 1509 and Rs 5,000 per quintal for basmati 1121 and clearance of sugarcane growers’ dues.