NEW DELHI: Jai Kisan Andolan leader, Yogendra Yadav, on Friday credited the sheer resilience of the farmers during the past one year of protest as the reason for the government agreeing to its demands of repealing the three contentious farm laws. He, however, insisted that for the farmers, the issue of Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a matter of life and death.
In a candid interview with The New Indian at the Ghazipur protest site, which was filled with farmers on the occasion of one year of farmers’ protest at the Delhi borders, Yadav said, “Farmers’ demands today are exactly the same as they were one year ago. Our request to the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) is: please take back your gift, we don’t want it. Please give us the gift that we want from you.” ALSO READ & WATCH: One Year of Farmers’ Protest: Repealing 3 Laws Not Enough, Tikait Adamant On MSP, Compensation
The “gift” that the farmers seek is that of the MSP, which the PM himself promised in 2011 as then Chief Minister of Gujarat, he clarified.
“The Prime Minister has given in to half of it (the demands). We welcome it; we are very happy about it. It is a great victory. In this moment of victory we should not forget that the other half of this has not been addressed at all,” he said.
Putting forth the demand of bringing the MSP law, he said, “This is not a new demand, this is something that the farmers have been asking for since day one. We are just saying that the MSP issue has not been addressed at all,” Yadav stressed.
We have reminded him (PM Modi) by sending a letter four to five days ago but we have not received any response so far. Once we get a response we will take stock of the situation,
Yadav, who is also the founder of the Swaraj Abhiyan said, “If we get a satisfactory response, we will return to our respective paces. But, if we don’t, then our struggle will continue.” The exact strategy for the struggle (farmers protest) will be decided during the meeting of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the farmers protest umbrella body, he added.
When asked about the farmer deaths in the past year during the protest, the violence on January 26 in several parts of the national capital and the protest losing momentum, he said, “There are ups and downs in every movement. But what has stood out in the last one year has been the sheer resilience of the farmers on the ground. Their resilience is what has helped the movement.” Even now, a year on, the spirit of the movement was still holding strong, he added.
The Prime Minister on November 19, in his televised address to the nation on the occasion of Guru Purab, had made an announcement to repeal the three farm laws. He said that despite the best efforts, the government was unable to explain the benefits of the three farm laws and therefore, the government will repeal the three farm laws during the Winter Session of Parliament.
On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet approved the Bill to repeal the three farm laws in Parliament. Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh have been camping at the borders of Delhi in protest since November 26 last. ALSO READ & WATCH: 1st Anniv Of Farm Protests: Punjab Farmer Died At 32 Of Cardiac Arrest, Son, 10, Vows To Become Cop