Congratulating the farmers over the triumphant culmination of their 15-month-long agitation against the (now scrapped) farm laws and other issues, Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) chief Amarinder Singh on Thursday hoped that it would pave the way for a more constructive political environment for the progress of the farming community, which constitute the backbone of India’s economic growth and sustainability.
Almost 15 months after the agitation began, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmer unions that led the protest, said on Thursday that it has suspended the agitation after receiving positive assurances from the government on their demands, adding that the borders of Delhi will be cleared by Saturday. The SKM also said that it would hold a review meeting on January 15.
Amarinder Singh, the former Chief Minister of Punjab who recently left the Congress and floated his own political outfit, said he was happy that the farmers’ fight has reached its logical conclusion, and the Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments have agreed in principle to follow his own erstwhile government’s decision in Punjab to compensate the families of farmers who had lost their lives during the agitation.
The Amarinder Singh-led Punjab government had announced Rs 5 lakh as financial aid and a job for one member each of the deceased farmers’ families in December 2020 and January 2021, respectively.
In a statement, the former Chief Minister expressed relief that the agitating farmers, farm labourers and their families will finally be back in the warm comfort of their homes after camping on Delhi’s borders since November last year.
Amarinder Singh hoped the lingering issue of minimum support price (MSP), for which the Centre has now constituted a committee, would also be resolved soon to the satisfaction of the farmers.
He further hoped that all future legislations and decisions concerning the farming community, which has been at the forefront of India’s progressive march since Independence, would be taken in the spirit of mutual agreement, after due consultation with all the stakeholders.
Asserting his party’s unequivocal support for the farmers, Amarinder Singh said that, as in the past, he would continue to do everything in his power to protect their interests and ensure their welfare.
He pointed out that as Chief Minister of Punjab, he had not only supported the farmers’ fight for the repeal of the three farm laws, but had also ensured that they were not, in any way, harassed even when they were sitting in protest across the state or marching towards Delhi.
In June 2020, he had convened an all-party meeting to seek repeal of what were then the three farm Ordinances, pointed out the former Chief Minister. His government had followed it up with a resolution rejecting the Ordinances, which was passed by the Punjab Assembly in August last year, he added.