Farmers at Vigyan Bhawan demand special parliamentary session, MSP to continue

On December 3, in the fourth meeting of the government with the farmers protesting against the farm laws held at the Vigyan Bhawan, the farmers proposed a special session in the parliament including the annulment of the farm laws. In the meeting, the farmers put forward five-set demands regarding the Minimum Support Price to the punishment provision against stubble burning. 

Along with the Agricultural Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Railways and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal were present in the meeting at the Vigyan Bhawan, there was the delegation of several farmer unions who were protesting in the National capital against the three laws, namely The Farmers Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities Act, 2020.

The government was not ready to provide a written guarantee on the Minimum Support Price inspite of continuous assurances that Minimum Support Price will continue to be implemented. 

The farmer unions asked for a special session of the parliament regarding the permanent implementation of Minimum Support Price. 

The farmer leaders said: “Let us assume that MSP will continue but the procurement would stop. The MSP will have no meaning then”.

Union Ministers hold talks with farmers' leaders at Vigyan Bhawan to  resolve ongoing protests
photo credits- free press journal

Although the government states that the laws were formulated considering the benefits and interests of the farmers however the farmer’s delegation believe that these laws are only meant to benefit the businessmen and corporates. 

According to sources, the farmers had hoped the meeting would conclude with a positive result for them however they were not ready to negotiate with their demands and decided to continue the protest until the laws are abolished. 

In the previous meeting, the protesting farmers had even declined the tea invitation from the government stating they were present to talk about the issue, not to drink tea. 

Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Piyush Goyal attend meeting with  farmers' leaders at Vigyan Bhawan
photo credits- ANI news

The centre had even proposed the setting up a committee to review the problems faced by the farmers instead the farmers demanded the abolition of the new ‘Black’ laws which were made only to favour the wealthy. 

The farmers had also mentioned that the meeting on December 3 would be the last attempt to talks with the government. In case the meeting does not yield favourable results, they will continue to protest against the laws. Two farmers had even lost their lives in the protest on December 2. The Chief Minister of Punjab declared a financial relief, Rs 2 lakh to the families of the deceased.

Opposition to support the protesting farmers

The opposition parties have been in support of the protesting farmers. 

Shiv Sena also said that the new laws passed by the parliament were treated as terrorists by the central government and were not even allowed to enter New Delhi. They should empathetically consider the demands of the farmers, they added.

Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi said that the government should ‘immediately and unconditionally’ listen to the problems of the farmers 

Meanwhile, the Congress believes that the current government has gone overhead with power. Rahul Gandhi called upon the people who were defending the ‘Black laws’, asking them to explain what they find favourable in the farm laws. 

Jayant Chaudhary, president of the Rashtriya Lok Dal also claimed, “By using sticks, water cannons and tear gas shells at the farmers coming to Delhi to protest peacefully against the new ‘anti-farmer’ laws, the BJP government has once again shown its anti-farmer mindset.” 

The central government have not prioritised the farmers and their demands, they are only interested in elections and gathering votes irrespective of the situations and consequences, he accused the central government.  

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