Farmers To Meet In Delhi Today, Will Discuss Centre’s Offer, To End Protest

New Delhi: A five-member team of farmers will be meeting today in Delhi to discuss the proposal sent by the Centre. If they accept the proposal the 15 months protest of farmers might end, against the controversial farm laws and demanding a legal guarantee for MSP.

Last month the Centre scrapped the three farm laws, in a stunning U-turn after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union ministers had staunchly and repeatedly defended the controversial laws. The farmers have accepted the withdrawal of laws but stated that they would not step down until the issue of MSP is resolved.

After the 10.30 am meeting, the five farmer leaders will go to Singhu on Delhi’s borders – where thousands of farmers have been camped for close to a year – for a 2 pm meeting with the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the umbrella body of farmer unions that is leading the protest.

Farmer leaders stated that they are in contact with the government officials via phone calls.

In a significant development yesterday, sources said the Centre had indicated its willingness to offer a written assurance on almost all of the farmers’ demands, including a committee on MSP and the dropping of all cases – those filed during the protests and those related to stubble burning.

It was understood that while the farmers were largely happy with the Centre’s offer, there was one sticking point – the Centre wants the farmers to stand down before police cases are dropped.

A discussion was held yesterday but farmer leaders could not settle on how to move forward.

Last week the farmers said Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to them (via a phone call) to discuss outstanding issues; this was after their protests forced the recall of the farm laws.

The farmers had then constituted the five-member panel to hold talks – talks that were to include their demand to legalize MSP and withdraw police cases against the protesters.

The Centre was given a ‘deadline’, which expired yesterday. “… if a compromise is found, then there is a possibility of farmers going back,” Yudhvir Singh, a union leader told NDTV.

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