Haryana: Restive farmers seeking MSP for sunflower seeds spent the night on the highway, vigilant. I OBSERVE


In a recent development, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait expressed his disappointment over the failed negotiations with the district administration. Despite holding two meetings on Monday night, the talks did not yield any positive outcome. As a result, farmers participating in the protest for Minimum Support Price (MSP) for sunflower seeds decided to spend the night at the demonstration site in Pipli, Haryana’s Kurukshetra district. This action prompted the police to divert traffic, causing inconvenience to commuters traveling on the national highway connecting Delhi with Chandigarh, Amritsar, and Jammu.

Faced with the setback, the farmers are now contemplating their next steps and will hold a meeting on Tuesday. Tikait revealed that a local committee of farmers, formed on Monday, along with the leaders of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), will gather to strategize their further course of action.

While the demand for MSP for sunflower crops primarily affects farmers in Haryana, Tikait emphasized that it has broader implications for the entire farming community. The protesters are demanding an MSP law encompassing all crops, as initially promised by the central government during the withdrawal of the controversial farm laws. Additionally, the farmers are also seeking the release of nine union leaders who were arrested during a recent protest in Shahabad.

Addressing the situation, Kurukshetra’s Superintendent of Police, S S Bhoria, expressed hope for a resolution while acknowledging the district administration’s efforts to convince the farmers to lift the blockade. The police have registered a fresh case against the protesters for blocking the national highway, invoking relevant provisions of the law. Violations of the prohibitory orders under CrPC Section 144, which were imposed within a 2 km radius of the grain market in Pipli, have been reported.

The protest, named “MSP Dilao, Kisan Bachao Mahapanchayat,” organized by the BKU (Charuni), took place at a grain market in Pipli, situated close to National Highway-44. Subsequently, the farmers proceeded to block the highway, causing disruptions for travelers. With the situation escalating, the district administration and the police are persistently engaging in negotiations to persuade the farmers to lift the blockade and restore normalcy.

To address the farmers’ grievances, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar took a step forward by releasing Rs 29.13 crore as interim compensation to 8,528 farmers cultivating sunflowers on 36,414 acres. However, the farmers are insisting that the state government procure sunflowers at an MSP of Rs 6,400 per quintal. Presently, under the Bhavantar Bharpai Yojana, a price difference payment scheme, the government provides interim support of Rs 1,000 per quintal for sunflower crops sold below MSP.

The issue at hand not only affects the farmers in Haryana but also highlights the broader concerns of the farming community. As the discussions continue between the protesting farmers and the district administration, the future course of action remains uncertain, leaving many anxiously awaiting a resolution to the ongoing deadlock.

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