In a change of norm, Uttar Pradesh farmer leaders addressed a press conference at the Delhi-UP border on Saturday, putting forth their demands. Addressing reporters, All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee's Sardar VM Singh said that Uttar Pradesh farmers must be included in the talks with the Centre so that they could put forth their demands regarding sugarcane, potato. Demanding a law guaranteeing MSP for every vegetable, Singh questioned as to why the bills were passed during a pandemic. Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and others, continue to stage a protest around Delhi's borders for the 17th consecutive day, demanding a rollback of these laws.
"We fought for sugarcane but we never receive payments. We want to talk, we want to discuss our issues. No one is ready to talk about sugarcane. Earlier, we were discussing on behalf of the country, but now our own issues should be raised. We want MSP for potatoes. We want law for that not in writing. We want MSP for every vegetable," said Singh.
He added, "Earlier we were in support of Punjab farmers and thought we have a solution. But nothing has happened, now we want Centre to address us also ( UP & Uttarakhand). Why has this bill been imposed forcibly on farmers? Why was this bill bought during the epidemic?"
We want MSP of all our produce including potatoes, sugarcane, grains, vegetables & milk. We don't want this guarantee in written form but we want a law for MSP now: Dungar Singh, Farmer Leader from Uttar Pradesh https://t.co/domYnFPeKX pic.twitter.com/T6KxBETlsk— ANI (@ANI) December 12, 2020
Rejecting the Centre's proposed amendment to the three Farm Laws, farmers have stayed firm on their demand of total repeal of the Farm acts, stating a 'lack of trust' on the Modi government. The farm union leaders were sent a 10-point proposal by the Centre assuring to give written guarantee for Minimum Support Price (MSP), empowering states to create a law which will prevent misuse of traders' registration, continuing current electricity bill payment done by the government and amend the stubble burning penalty clause. The Centre has requested the farmers to stop their protests at Delhi's borders, and continue with next round of talks. Farmers have retaliated by approaching the Supreme Court seeking a total repeal of the laws and a nationwide farm waiver.
As the country opened up after lockdown, the Centre promulgated three ordinances affecting agriculture. Agriculture foodstuff including cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions, and potato are to be deregulated while stock limits were to be imposed only under extreme conditions, under the amendment to the Essential Commodities act. The Farmers' produce trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act was to enable better price realisation for farmers by attracting investments - making the agriculture sector competitive. Under the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm services ordinance, 2020, it provided a framework for the protection and empowerment of farmers with reference to the sale and purchase of farm products overriding all state APMC laws. Punjab government has passed laws annulling the Centre's laws.