Farmers set to formally call off protests today after Centre agrees to demands

Indian farmers who have spent the last 15 months protesting the farm laws and pushing for a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP), are on the brink of scaling down their agitation after accepting a second draft proposal from the government, which includes assurances on MSP and withdrawal of police cases.

The farmers had also underlined the need for financial compensation
The farmers had also underlined the need for financial compensation. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@hrw

Today's meeting at 12 pm will lead to a final decision on reducing the intensity of protests – which could include the thousands of farmers camped out around Delhi going back home – being taken.

The stand-down comes after a stunning series of U-turns by the government – from repealing the farm laws to withdrawing police cases against the farmers and, crucially, offering a written guarantee to consider their long-standing demand to make MSP, or minimum support price, official.

Earlier yesterday, a panel of five senior farmer leaders met in Delhi to discuss a fresh proposal offered by the government, which included assurances that police cases against thousands of farmers – in connection with the farm laws agitations and over stubble burning – will be immediately suspended.

And on the question of the contentious Electricity Amendment Bill, the farmers have exacted a promise from the government that this will only be tabled after a discussion with them.

The farmers had also underlined the need for financial compensation (to the families of the, reportedly, more than 700 growers who died in the protests) along the lines of that offered by the Congress government in Punjab; the state has given INR 5 lakh and a job to a family member.

Both Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have agreed, in principle, to this demand.