BJP MP Varun Gandhi on Saturday approached the Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a request to accept the farmers' long pending demand for statutory MSP guarantee for their crops and also sought immediate action against Union Minister Ajay Mishra in connection to the deplorable violence that took place in Lakhimpur Kheri.
In a letter to the prime minister, the MP from Pilibhit in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh said that the agitation won't culminate until and unless the farmers' demand are met.
Gandhi’s remarks on Saturday, a day after the prime minister in his address to the nation announced repeal of the three farm laws which triggered a year of protests by farmers.
The announcement of the withdrawal of the contentious laws was warily welcomed by leaders of the farmers' unions spearheading the agitation but they said the protests will continue till the measures are repealed in Parliament and Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops gets legal guarantee.
Gandhi thanked Modi for his "large-heartedness" in announcing the decision to repeal the three farm laws, but added "more than 700 farmer brothers and sisters have been martyred in this movement", as they peacefully protested in extremely difficult and hostile conditions.
"If this decision had been taken earlier, innocent lives would not have been lost," he said.
In his letter posted on Twitter, Gandhi underscored the need to accept the farmers' demand for legal guarantee of MSP.
"This movement will not end without the resolution of this demand and there will be widespread anger amongst them, which will continue to emerge in one form or the other. Therefore, it is very important for the farmers to get the statutory guarantee of MSP for their crops," he wrote.
The BJP leader said the legal binding on MSP will give sizeable economic security cover to farmers and will empower small and marginal farmers.
"My humble request to you is that the government must immediately accept this demand in the interest of our nation," Gandhi said in his letter to the prime minister.
He said MSP should also be based on the C2+50 per cent formula of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices.
Describing the October 3 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, in which farmers were among eight people killed, as heartbreaking and a "blemish on our democracy", Gandhi said, "... It is my request to you that appropriately strict action is taken against the Union minister who has been connected to this incident, so that there is a fair enquiry." The BJP MP Gandhi made the request to the prime minister without taking Mishra’s name. He also claimed that the Lakhimpur incident was outcome of the adversarial atmosphere created against the farmers' movement by provocative statements of many leaders sitting in senior positions.
Gandhi also demanded that Rs 1 crore compensation be given to farmers “martyred” in this movement against the laws and that all "politically motivated false" FIRs against the protesting farmers be quashed.
Concluding his letter, Gandhi said that farmers expect that their demands will be resolved in a timely and sensitive manner and asserted that democracy runs on constitutionality, discourse and empathy.
(With PTI Inputs)