Desh Ki Baat

Fields of Frustration: What Are The Key Demands Of Farmers That Remain Unresolved?

Probing the persistent farmers protest, this piece explores unmet demands, including MSP guarantees and Electricity Act repeal.

Unresolved Farmer Demands: A Closer Look at the Key Issues of protest

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The ‘Delhi Chalo’ march, undertaken by protesting farmers, is gaining momentum with heightened security measures at Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri borders. The demands put forth by the farmers remain a focal point of contention, with key issues revolving around the minimum support price (MSP) for crops, repeal of the Electricity Act 2020, compensation for Lakhimpur Kheri victims, and withdrawal of cases against protestors.

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Minimum Support Price (MSP) Guarantee:

The foremost demand of the farmers is the enactment of a law ensuring a minimum support price for crops. This is seen as a crucial lifeline for farmers facing market uncertainties. While the government has shown willingness to discuss legal guarantees for MSP, the farmers remain skeptical, emphasizing the need for concrete legislative assurances.

Repeal of Electricity Act 2020:

Another point of contention is the repeal of the Electricity Act 2020. The farmers express concerns about the impact of this legislation on their power subsidies and overall farming costs. The government’s response to this demand remains a subject of debate, with negotiations ongoing.

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Compensation for Lakhimpur Kheri Victims:

The tragic events in Lakhimpur Kheri, resulting in the death of farmers, have intensified the farmers’ demand for compensation. Although discussions have taken place, a conclusive resolution is yet to be achieved, contributing to the sustained momentum of the protest.

Withdrawal of Cases against Protestors:

While progress has been made in addressing this demand, the farmers emphasize the importance of complete withdrawal of cases against those involved in the farmers’ movement. Despite partial agreements, the farmers remain steadfast in their pursuit of justice and accountability.

Government’s Approach and Farmer Skepticism:

Despite assurances from the government, farmer leaders, including Jagjit Singh Dallewal and Sarwan Singh Pandher, express skepticism about the government’s commitment to addressing the broader set of demands. The proposed formation of a committee to deliberate on issues such as legal guarantees for MSP, debt waivers, and the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations faces resistance from farmer representatives who remain unconvinced of its effectiveness.

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Timeline of Events and Concerns:

The repeal of the contentious farm laws in November 2021 marked a significant development. However, it took the government nine months to establish an expert committee to address the farmers’ concerns. The absence of representation from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh in the committee, along with the exclusion of economists or experts opposing the farm laws, has raised concerns about the committee’s composition and its ability to comprehensively address the farmers’ grievances.

Additional Farmer Demands:

Beyond the highlighted demands, the farmers’ protest encompasses a spectrum of issues, including the reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act 2013, withdrawal from the World Trade Organization, and compensation for families of farmers who lost their lives during the previous agitation. These demands reflect the depth and complexity of the issues at stake.

Security Measures and Ongoing Protests:

As the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march gains momentum, security measures at Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri borders intensify. The Delhi police’s stringent measures, including the installation of nails along barricades and the use of cranes and earthmovers to block roads, underscore the heightened tensions surrounding the ongoing protests.

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The unresolved demands of the protesting farmers highlight the complex and multifaceted nature of the issues at hand. The ongoing negotiations and the farmers’ steadfastness underscore the need for comprehensive and timely resolutions. The ‘Delhi Chalo’ march serves as a poignant reminder of the persistence of farmers in their pursuit of justice, fair treatment, and a sustainable agricultural future.

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