‘Poison inside sweets’: India's farmers’ leader on Centre’s offer to suspend farm laws
Of the four demands raised by farmers, both sides have arrived at a consensus on two
A leader of India's Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) said on Friday the Centre's proposal to suspend the three contentious agricultural laws for up to 18 months was like "hiding poison inside sweets" and an attempt to end the agitation that has been going since November last year.
KMSC's SS Pandher reiterated that the unions will once again discuss their demands for a legal assurance on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and a repeal of the laws in the talks with the Centre on Friday.
"India's government's strategy was to throw a net at us, to hide poison inside sweets. They want to end the protests somehow. In our meeting it was unanimously decided that we reject their proposal," news agency ANI quoted Pandher as saying. "In today's meeting, we will discuss MSP and repeal of the three farm laws," he also said.
Pandher was referring to the decision taken by the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of 40 farmers' unions leading the protests, to reject the government's offer to put the legislation in abeyance for at least one-and-a-half years during in the 10th round of talks on Wednesday.
Of the four demands raised by farmers, both sides have arrived at a consensus on two; however, the negotiations are stuck on the demands for MSP and repeal. While the government has repeatedly said it won't repeal the laws and has instead offered to amend and set up a committee to review the laws, the unions are adamant on a complete rollback. The implementation of the laws is already on hold, as ordered by the Supreme Court last week.
The protesting farmers are gearing up for a mega tractor march on Republic Day. Farmers' leaders are in talks with the Delhi Police to decide upon its route. The march, they've already announced, would be "peaceful."