Tuesday 28 June 2022
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Farmers in Punjab, AAP government reach temporary truce

Conceding the farmers' demands, Mann announced a fresh schedule for staggered sowing of paddy on 14 and 17 June, but 'it is the start of our struggle' they warned

Punjab farmers ended their protest today after the Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government accepted several of their demands. The development came after representatives of farmer bodies held a marathon meeting with the chief minister here.

Conceding the farmers’ demands, Mann announced a fresh schedule for staggered sowing of paddy on 14 and 17 June, thus restricting the total number of zones to just two instead of four.

Mann also told the farmer leaders that the state government has already issued a notification to procure the entire moong (green gram) at a minimum support price of Rs 7,275 per quintal.

Punjab Rural Development Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal shared the details of the meeting with the agitating farmers at the protest site in Mohali.

Later, Bharti Kisan Union (Sidhupur) state president Jagjit Singh Dallewal announced the decision to lift the protest.

In an ultimatum to the Punjab government, farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal had said if Chief Minister Mann did not hold a meeting with the protesters by another day to redress their grievances, they will move to Chandigarh, breaking barricades.

“It is the start of our struggle in Punjab and it will continue till our demands are met. Only 25% of farmers have come here so far. More will come tomorrow. It is a do-or-die battle,” said another farmer leader.

Scores of Punjab farmers had begun a protest near the Chandigarh-Mohali border on Tuesday after they were stopped from heading to the state capital to press their various demands, including a bonus on wheat and beginning paddy sowing from June 10.

Among their various demands,

  1. farmers want a Rs 500 bonus on each quintal of wheat as their yield has dropped and shrivelled because of unprecedented heatwave conditions
  2. they are also against the Punjab government’s decision to allow paddy sowing in a staggered manner from June 18 to lessen the electricity burden and conserve underground water
  3. the protesters want the government to allow them to sow paddy from June 10. They also want a notification issued for the minimum support price for maize and moong.
  4. they are also demanding the government lower the charges on the extension of electricity load from Rs 4,800 to Rs 1,200, 10-12 hours of power supply and release of outstanding sugarcane payment.
  5. the protesters are against the installation of smart electricity meters too.

With inputs from PTI

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