Modi Govt caves in; farmers declare protest over after reaching Kisan Ghat
With the public mood in favour of the protesting farmers, the Modi government allowed them to enter Delhi after midnight and proceed to Kisan Ghat in the wee hours of Wednesday
With the public mood in favour of the protesting farmers, the Modi government finally allowed them to enter the capital—but only past midnight on Wednesday, October 3. The tens of thousands of farmers from all over of Uttar Pradesh, who had marched peacefully from Haridwar to Delhi as part of the Kisan Kranti Yatra and had wanted to protest at Mahatma Gandhi’s samadhi at Rajghat on his birth anniversary October 2, had been blocked by the police, who had imposed prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more people and holding of any public meeting on the night of October 1. The Police, who had yesterday forcefully stopped the farmers at the UP-Delhi border, from entering the national capital. Finally, in the wee hours of Wednesday, they were permitted to enter Delhi on their tractors and trolleys and proceed to Kisan Ghat, the memorial of former Indian Prime Minister and champion of farmers, Chaudhary Charan Singh.
Once they had reached their destination, President of Bharatiya Kisan Union, Naresh Tikait, who had led the protests, said, “The 'Kisan Kranti Padyatra' that had started on September 23 had to end at Delhi's Kisan Ghat. Since the Delhi police didn't allow us to enter, we protested. Our aim was to finish the yatra which has been done. Now we'll go back to our villages.”
Earlier, after the representatives of farmers had held discussions with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the government on Tuesday, October 2, agreed to take "effective measures" to fulfil seven of the farmer’s 15 demands. The farmers, however, rejected the Centre’s ‘assurances’ to consider 7 out of 15 demands
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), which led the protest, said the government was "non-committal" on fixation of MSP based on 'C2' input factor as per the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations.
Naresh Tikait, President of Bharatiya Kisan Union” “The ‘Kisan Kranti Padyatra’ that had started on September 23 had to end at Delhi’s Kisan Ghat. Since the Delhi police didn’t allow us to enter, we protested. Our aim was to finish the yatra which has been done. Now we’ll go back to our villages”
According to a release, the government said it will file a review petition in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to revoke the ban on 10-year-old diesel vehicles (tractors)and at the same time ask states to take similar action. Also, a proposal to bring agriculture-related products under 5% bracket of Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be put before the GST council.
The government also said the Minimum Support Price (MSP) providing 50% profit over the production cost—as announced in the Union Budget 2018-19—will be extended to all notified Rabi crops, and an advisory will be sent to states to establish proper procurement mechanism to ensure fair prices. As per the release, the government also said measures will be taken to stop imports of commodities that are harvested in optimum quantity. And purchase window will be of 90 days.
On the demand of integration of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNRES) with farm work, the government said farmer representatives will be included in the committee that is working on the issue.
The government’s assurances came after a three-hour meeting, which was later rejected by the BKU. It had said the government was “silent” on the major demand of loan waiver
"A committee will be constituted under the chairmanship of Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to look into issues raised over implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). The committee will give report after holding consultations with farmer unions in relation with implementation of PMFBY and Kisan Credit Card scheme," reads the release.
On the issue of crop damages by wild animals, the government assured the farmers that amendments will be made in the directions under PMFBY to provide compensation on pilot basis, and it may be implemented in other affected districts based on the outcome of the pilot project.
Demands which were not considered by the government are monthly pension to farmers, payment of cane arrears with interest, free electricity for tube-well, rehabilitation of family of farmers who commit suicide along with a job to kin, put agriculture out of World Trade Organisation (WTO), land acquisition as per 2013 Land Act, and calling a special session of Parliament to discuss farmers issues.
The government's assurances came after a three-hour meeting, which was later rejected by the BKU. It had said the government was "silent" on the major demand of loan waiver. The farmers say they are returning to their villages because they have been away for over 15 days, and achieved the aim of reaching Kisan Ghat in Delhi.
With agency inputs
- Goods and Services Tax
- Rabi crop
- National Green Tribunal
- Minimum Support Price
- World Trade Organisation
- Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi
- Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh
- Bharatiya Kisan Union
- Union Minister of State for Agriculture
- land acquisition act
- Gajendra Singh Shekhawat
- Uttar Pradesh-Delhi border
- MS Swaminathan Commission
- Kisan Ghat
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
- Kisan Credit Card scheme
- Kisan Kranti Padyatra