What next of farmers' protests? SKM to decide future course of action today

The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021, to withdraw the three contentious laws will be introduced in Parliament on the opening day of the winter session on Monday. 
The farmers' unions, led by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), will take a call on the future course of action for the movement on Saturday. (Photo via @Rakesh.Tikait on Koo)
The farmers' unions, led by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), will take a call on the future course of action for the movement on Saturday. (Photo via @Rakesh.Tikait on Koo)
Updated on Nov 27, 2021 07:55 AM IST
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Written by Joydeep Bose | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

A day after marking the first anniversary of the year-long farmers' protests at the border areas of the national capital, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) – an umbrella body of protesting unions – will on Saturday take a call on the future course of action of the entire movement, according to Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait and Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav.

The BKU, an influential farmers' union from western Uttar Pradesh, has been leading the charge at the Ghazipur border since November last year under the SKM umbrella. The union's spokesperson Saurabh Upadhyay told the PTI news agency on Friday, “We have a meeting of the SKM on Saturday and the future course of our action will be decided only after that. We have planned a march towards Delhi on November 29, but SKM will take a call about it on Saturday.”

Also Read | With end of farmers’ protest in sight after a year, gloom gives way to relief

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh had gathered in large numbers yesterday at the three Delhi border points of Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri – with protesting unions saying that the day, which marks one year of their agitation against the three farm laws, will be remembered forever in history as one of the greatest moments of people's struggle.

Taking to his Twitter handle, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait acknowledged that this one year of farmers' protest also marks one entire year of dedication, fight, and commitment. “It has been a year of unmatched struggle mixed with happiness and sadness,” the senior leader tweeted in Hindi. “We are fighting and winning. We will fight and win. MSP law is farmers' right.” He also posted photos of the one-year protest on the micro-blogging website, Koo.

The BKU, an influential farmers' union from western Uttar Pradesh, has been leading the charge at the Ghazipur border since November last year under the SKM umbrella. The union's spokesperson Saurabh Upadhyay told the PTI news agency on Friday, “We have a meeting of the SKM on Saturday and the future course of our action will be decided only after that. We have planned a march towards Delhi on November 29, but SKM will take a call about it on Saturday.”

Also Read | With end of farmers’ protest in sight after a year, gloom gives way to relief

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh had gathered in large numbers yesterday at the three Delhi border points of Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri – with protesting unions saying that the day, which marks one year of their agitation against the three farm laws, will be remembered forever in history as one of the greatest moments of people's struggle.

Taking to his Twitter handle, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait acknowledged that this one year of farmers' protest also marks one entire year of dedication, fight, and commitment. “It has been a year of unmatched struggle mixed with happiness and sadness,” the senior leader tweeted in Hindi. “We are fighting and winning. We will fight and win. MSP law is farmers' right.”

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, in a surprise address last week, announced that the three controversial farm laws would be withdrawn. Although farmer unions had welcomed the government's move, they said their protests would continue until the laws are totally withdrawn and other demands are met.

Also Read | SKM to organise farmers’ Mahapanchayat in Lucknow on Monday

The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 – the all-important draft legislation to withdraw the three contentious laws – has already been approved by the Union cabinet, and, according to an official bulletin, it will be introduced in Parliament on the opening day of the winter session on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Opposition, too, is adamant to discuss the bill in the House to corner the government over the farm issues. The Congress has issued three-line whips in both the Houses, asking party MPs to be present on Monday; the party also plans to hold a meeting hours before the session begins with other opposing parties for “working unitedly in raising critical matters of peoples’ concerns”, people familiar with the matter said.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022