The farmers of Punjab protesting near the Chandigarh-Mohali border, had earlier warned the Punjab govt that if their demands aren’t met, they would hold an indefinite agitation on thd lines of the one-year long protest against the farm laws. The situation was tensed, but after meeting Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann, they decided to end their agitation. A more than 2.5-hour long meeting took place between Mr Mann and several farmer leaders at Punjab Bhawan to discuss their demands, including a bonus on wheat and beginning paddy sowing from June 10. Punjab Rural Development Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal shared the details of the meeting with the agitating farmers at the protest site in Mohali.
The protesting farmers were 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.
Now the paddy transplantation will be on June 14 and 17. Three major announcements by CM Mann-
• CM Bhagwant Mann announced a fresh schedule for staggered transplantation of paddy on June 14 and June 17, and restricted the total number of zones to two, instead of five.
• He also told the farmer leaders that the state government has already issued a notification to procure the entire moong crop at a minimum support price of Rs 7,275 per quintal.
• On the issue of bonus on wheat, CM Mann reportedly said the government would discuss it with the Centre, and urge it to compensate the affected farmers at the earliest
“The government will soon come out with a comprehensive policy for bestowing ownership rights on the cultivators who have the possession of panchayat land and have been cultivating it for long,” says CM Bhagwant Mann. On the issue of MSP for basmati, the CM said he would call on Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday to immediately announce it so as to encourage farmers to go for its cultivation in a big way. He also told SKM members that he would take up the contentious issue of BBMB with Shah for expeditious resolution to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. Mann urged the union leaders to give him at least one year to bring farmer-friendly reforms.
Hundreds of farmers, who reached Mohali from across the state yesterday, were saying that they are ready to go in for sustainable agriculture, as desired by CM Mann, but the government is not aware of the practical difficulties and challenges faced by them. Though, the end of the protest is seen as a big relief not only to the farmers but even the Punjab govt.