Farmer unions welcome the decision of laws repeal but deny the culminating strike
Delhi -On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision to complete the withdrawal of the three farm laws. The decision was welcomed by all and hailed as a “historic victory” by farmer unions. But opposition called it a masterstroke by government-driven by-elections in 2022.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) has welcomed the government’s decision but said it hasn’t decided on strike status, citing additional demands that were a part of the protest apart from laws repeal – remuneration and electricity rates. Before the laws repeal announcement, SKM had said in a statement, “If this happens, it will be a historic victory of the year-long farmers’ struggle in India,” it noted. “However, nearly 700 farmers have been martyred in this struggle. The Government’s obstinacy is responsible for these avoidable deaths, including the murders at Lakhimpur Kheri,” it stated.
BKU (Bharatiya Kisan Union) has called the decision of repealing farm laws as only “one step” towards agreeing to demands extended by farmers. It added that the future of agitation would be decided after the SKM meeting to be held on Saturday. “Our demand for a law on guaranteed MSP is still pending. The promise of forming a committee will not do. We will wait for clarity on other issues and the repeal of the laws in the Parliament,” said the general secretary of BKU Yudhvir Singh.
Singh said that the timing of the decision shows that “those ruling us are no saints and that they think only in terms of political profit and loss.” He added, “Had they been sensitive towards farmers, they would not have allowed 700 peasants to die over the last one year. That’s why we can’t welcome the move; it is just a step.”
Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), which is affiliated to the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), has opposed the center’s decision stating it can result in “long term damage” to the interests of farmers. “Because of the stubbornness of these so-called farmers, there is bound to be long-term damage for farmers. The reforms brought about by these laws would have especially benefited small and medium farmers,” the BKS said in a statement.