NEW DELHI: The protesting farmer unions on Tuesday said they are “apprehensive” about the Centre’s response to their six pending demands and will hold a meeting on December 8 to decide the future course of the agitation.
Earlier on Tuesday, Samyukta Kisan Morcha, the umbrella body of farmer unions, held a meeting to discuss the Centre’s response and said that some pending issues still remain.
“We have sent a few suggestions and objections on the government’s proposal on our pending demands,” the SKM said after the meeting.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said that while the Centre has agreed to meet the demands of the farmers, the contours of the proposal are not yet clear.
“We have our apprehensions which will be discussed tomorrow at 2pm … Our movement is not going anywhere, [we] will be here,” Rakesh Tikait said.
The farmers added they won’t accept the government’s condition that cases will be withdrawn only after the protest is called off.
The farmers had put forth six demands after Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month announced the repeal of the three contentious laws.
The primary demand of the farmers was a legal guarantee to ensure Minimum Support Price (MSP) system.
The farmers also demanded withdrawal of Electricity Amendment Bill, removal of the penalty section from the Air Pollution Bill, arrest and removal of Union minister of state for home Ajay Misra Teni, withdrawal of “fake” cases registered against the farmers, rehabilitation of the kin of martyred farmers, and a memorial for the martyred farmers.
In its letter to the farmer unions, the Centre has agreed to form a committee to discuss the MSP issue and said it will have representations from the SKM.
The Centre also said that UP and Haryana governments will withdraw all cases against the farmers after they call off their protest.
It said that both states have also in principle agreed to provide compensation to the kin of farmers who died during the protests.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting against the three farm laws at the various border points of Delhi for over a year now.
Last month, PM Modi announced that the government will repeal the three laws as it failed to convince a certain section of the farmers. The bill to repeal the laws was later cleared by Parliament and approved by the President.
However, the farmers had said they will call off the protest only when the Centre gives them assurances on their pending demands.