LIVE: Farmer leaders plan hunger strike on Dec 14, escalating protests

Farmers gather for a speech at a protest site at a road block on the Delhi-Haryana border crossing in Singhu, Delhi | (Bloomberg)
Farmers' protest LIVE updates Day 17: With farmers gearing up to block the highway and picket toll plazas on the border to Delhi today in response to a call from protesting farmer unions to intensify their agitation against the three farm laws, police personnel have been deployed in strength to protect toll booths and ensure smooth flow of traffic, Faridabad Police said.

As many as 3,500 police personnel will be deployed at the five toll plazas in the area, a statement said.

The ongoing protest of the farmers against the three new agriculture laws has entered its 17th day on Saturday with the farmers' unions now threatening to block railway tracks.

Stay tuned for farmers' protest LIVE UPDATES

LIVE UPDATES

Farmers consider expanding protests to 'pan-India' scale

Getting no positive signal from the Central government about rolling back the three contentious farm laws enacted in September, farmers protesting on the national capital's different borders on Saturday announced their plan to expand the demonstrations and expand them to a 'pan-India' scale, appealing all sections of society, including girls and women, to join them.
 
Declaring that they'll hold a day long 'hunger strike' on December 14, farmers representatives of 32 different unions jointly announced their plans for a 'pan-India' protest if the government does not accept their demands and withdraws the three laws -- The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
 
Addressing a press conference at Singhu border, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti President Kawalpreet Singh Pannu said: "We have decided to expand this movement pan India."

Union Minister Tomar holds meeting with farmers' leaders from Haryana

Protesting farmers 'unwilling' to undergo Covid-19 test, says Sonipat medical officer

With the shadow of coronavirus looming large over protest sites, the Sonipat district administration is offering testing facility to farmers protesting the Centre's new agri laws but most of them are "unwilling" to get tested, fearing they would be isolated if found positive and this would "weaken" their agitation.
 
Farmers' leaders said the new farm laws pose a "greater threat" to the lives of protesters than Covid-19.
 
Thousands of farmers have been camping at Delhi's different border points for over two weeks, demanding a repeal of the three agriculture reform laws.
 
Senior Medical Officer (Sonipat) Anvita Kaushik, who is also the in-charge of medical facilities at the Singhu border protest site, said despite her team's "best efforts", farmers are not willing to get tested for Covid-19.

Govt brought farm laws to protect farmers' interest: Tomar

As the farmers' protest entered the 17th day on Saturday, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar communicated a fresh message to them about the Central government's sentiments and steps being taken for their welfare. He said the government brought the three farm laws only to protect the interests of the farmers and it is adopting all measures to make them and the agriculture sector more prosperous.
 
As the farmers are still adamant on their first and major demand to repeal the three contentious farm laws enacted in September during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, the Minister said the new laws were brought for major changes in the lives of farmers.
 
He said the government brought the laws to provide a fair price for the farmers' produce, increase their income, and make necessary changes in their lives.

In Pics | Farmers take over UP-Delhi border as protest continues

Farmers make Chapati(bread) for the fellow farmers during the protest against Farm bill at Singhu Border, in New Delhi on Friday.
Farmers cook food for the fellow farmers during the protest against Farm bill at Singhu Border, in New Delhi on Friday.
Farmers sit on their tractor during the protest against Farm bill at Singhu Border, in New Delhi on Friday.

Farmers picket toll plazas in Haryana

Intensifying their protest against the Centre's new agri laws, farmers took over some toll plazas in Haryana on Saturday, not allowing authorities to collect fees from commuters. The agitating farmers had earlier said they would picket toll plazas to press their demand for a repeal of the three new laws, which were voted through in Parliament in September amid strong protests by opposition parties. More than 100 farmers led by Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leaders Malkit Singh and Manish Chaudhry gathered at a toll plaza on the Ambala-Hisar highway, around 15 kilometers from Ambala city.

Deployed forces to check that no miscreant joins the protest: UP ADG

We've deployed forces to check that no miscreant joins the protest. We're taking measures to see that public movement is not affected. We're ensuring that anti social elements, who're trying to create trouble, are being dealt with: Prashant Kumar, UP ADG (Law & Order)

Farmers head to Delhi from Ghazipur border

Farmers protesting at the Delhi-Ghazipur border (Delhi-UP) march towards Delhi. "With this march we want to give a message to the Govt to listen to our issues," says Rakesh Tikait, Spokesperson, Bharatiya Kisan Union.

PM Modi backs farm laws at FICCI event, says it will open up new markets

PM Narendra Modi on Saturday reaffirmed his commitment to the agriculture reforms and said "we are bridging the gaps in the sector that will provide new markets and opportunities to farmers and attract investments." He said that the farm reforms will benefits farmers the most. The statement comes amid a standoff between the government and the farmers who are protesting for last two weeks demanding a repeal of recently passed farm laws. The prime minister was speaking after inaugurating the virtual FICCI annual expo 2020 which is being held virtually on December 11, 12 and 14, with the theme "Inspired India". Read More
PM Narendra Modi speaking during the inaugural of FICCI annual expo.

If people of a banned org are roaming amid us, put them behind bars: Rakesh Tikait, Bharatiya Kisan Union

Central Intelligence should catch them. If people of a banned org are roaming amid us, put them behind bars. We haven't found any such person here, if we do we'll send them away: Rakesh Tikait, Bharatiya Kisan Union when asked if 'anti-national elements' got involved in agitation

Haryana: Farmers head to Delhi, to join the agitation at the borders of the national capital against farm laws


Andhra Pradesh CM asks banks to focus on doubling farmers' income

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday asked senior bank employees to focus on doubling farmers' income, reducing investment costs, providing proper market facilities for crops and supporting them at the time of natural disasters.
 
Reddy was addressing the 213th State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC), where he announced that a 7.5 per cent growth rate has been registered in the last quarter in issuing loans and 99 per cent of crop loans were disbursed.
 
"The government has started various initiatives to reduce the investment cost to farmers. The government has been providing financial assistance of Rs 13,500 per annum through Rythu Bharosa Scheme," said the Chief minister.

Opposition efforts to spread disharmony won't be tolerated: Uttar Pradesh CM Adityanath

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday hit out at opposition parties for allegedly leading the farmer's movement towards disorientation, and said that the "malicious" efforts to spread disharmony in the country would not be tolerated.
 
He also commented on recent reports of farmers at the Tikri border holding posters of detained activists like Sharjil Imam and Omar Khalid, saying that statements from the Kisan Manch in their support showed the disorientation of the movement.
 
"Any kind of statement in support of the Sharjil Imam, Omar Khalid, shows the disorientation of the movement as a whole. The malicious effort to spread disharmony inside the country by taking the farmers forward will not be tolerated at all. What do these faces mean to the peasant movement? These people have never been friendly to farmers and the country," a statement quoted the Chief Minister.
 
He also said that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party were the real supporters of the country.

Delhi Traffic Police informs commuters about closed routes amid farmers' protest

Amid the prevailing deadlock between farmers and the Central government over the new farm laws, the Delhi Traffic Police on Saturday informed commuters about routes closed for traffic in view of a large number of farmers camping at the Delhi's borders.
 
"Available Open Borders to Haryana are following Borders--Jharoda (Only Single Carriageway/Road), Daurala, Kapashera, Badusarai, Rajokri NH 8, Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera Borders," Delhi Traffic Police tweeted today.
 
" Tikri, Dhansa Borders are closed for any Traffic Movement. Jhatikara Borders is open only for two-wheelers and pedestrian movement," Delhi Traffic Police added.

Modi needs to resolve the farm agitation or it may hurt India's recovery

Farmers’ protests are threatening to snowball into the biggest political crisis of Narendra Modi’s tenure.
 
To give in to demands and scrap the laws would be an uncharacteristic admission of defeat for India’s strongman prime minister, who promised they would transform agriculture. But letting the unrest linger could cause chaos in food markets, alienate urban consumers, and potentially derail the post-Covid recovery. Read on...

If govt wants to talks to farmers it should convey that formally: Bharatiya Kisan Union

If the government wants to talk to farmer leaders that should be formally conveyed like in previous occasions, said Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Friday, asserting that anything less than scrapping of the new agri laws won't be accepted. The government on Thursday asked farmer groups to consider its proposals for amending the Acts to address their concerns and said it was open to discussing its offer further whenever the unions want.
 
"They (government) should first tell us when and where they want to meet us as they did for previous formal talks. If they invite us for talks, we will discuss that with our coordination committee and then take a decision," Tikait told PTI. The BKU leader said there was no question of returning home until the government repeals the three laws. Asked whether the government has sent any invite for further discussion, he said the farmer unions have not received anything as such.
 
"One thing is very clear that farmers will not accept anything less than scrapping of new agriculture laws," he said.
 
Farmers leaders on Thursday announced they would block railway tracks across the country if their demands were not met by the government and would announce a date for that soon. However, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has expressed hope there would be a resolution soon.

LIVE: 68 Magistrates appointed amid farmer's threats to block National Highway-48

In view of the decision of various farmers' associations to block the Delhi-Jaipur Expressway (National Highway-48) on December 12, the District Magistrate of Gurugram Amit Khatri has appointed 68 Duty Magistrates at multiple locations in the district on Friday. These duty magistrates will be on duty along with the police officers throughout the day.
 
Meanwhile, Anju Chaudhary, Chief Executive Officer of Gurugram Mahanagar City Bus Limited, has been appointed as overall in-charge for the entire district in case of blocking the highway. Apart from this, Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Gurugram, Badshahpur, Pataudi and Sohna will be in-charge in their respective areas.
 
After the farmers decided on Wednesday to intensify their protest, Gurugram Police have already beefed up security at key roads of the city along with, toll plazas, Delhi-Haryana border and state highways in view of protesters' plan to block the Delhi-Jaipur Expressway on December 12. Around 2,000 police personnel have been deployed at various points along NH-48 on December 12 to ensure law and order is maintained and there is no disruption to traffic movement.

Don't allow 'anti-social' elements to use your platform: Narendra Singh Tomar to protesting farmers

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday said some "anti-social elements" are conspiring to spoil the atmosphere of the peasants' movement under the guise of farmers and appealed the protesting farming community to be vigilant against their platform being misused. He also said the government is sensitive towards farmers and is in discussion with them and their representatives to resolve their concerns.
 
"A proposal to resolve the farmers' objection has also been sent to the farmers union and the government is ready for further discussion," Tomar tweeted.
 
Tagging a media report about posters coming up at farmers' Tikri Border protest site demanding release of some activists arrested under various charges, Tomar said, "Anti-social elements are conspiring to spoil the atmosphere of the peasant movement under the guise of farmers."
 
"I appeal to the peasant brothers to be vigilant and not provide their platform to such anti-social elements," he added.

Proposal to resolve farmers' issues sent to their unions: Agriculture Minister

Anti-national forces behind farmers' protest: Union Minister Pratap Sarangi

Union Minister Pratap Sarangi on Friday said anti-national forces are behind the protest against the new farm laws. He said the farmers have nothing to do with the ongoing protests against the new farm reform laws.
 
"Be it farmers or leaders, nobody is above law. The farmers are being instigated by some people. Some anti-national forces are behind the ongoing farmers' protest. The protests have no basis," Sarangi said. He said the new farm laws have been enacted for the development and benefit of the farmers. The Minister said the Centre has assured that minimum support price (MSP) and mandi system will remain in the country.
 
"The middle-men will be affected following the enactment of the laws. The actual farmers are not protesting the farm laws. Some people having vested political interests are instigating the farmers," he added. He said the farmers have welcomed the Centre's farm laws which will benefit the farmers.

Will block Delhi-Jaipur road and Reliance/Adani toll plazas: Bharatiya Kisan Union

Have enough ammunition for winters, say protesting farmers

Taking a sip of tea sitting beside a bonfire at the Singhu border, 52-year-old Makkhan Singh Deol tapped on a carton full of roasted gram and said, "The farmers have enough ammunition for the winters." Numerous bonfires dot the GT-Karnal road, the "new home" of the protesting farmers who have been staying put at the Singhu border point of the national capital demanding withdrawal of the new farm reform laws.
 
A trolley containing jaggery, roasted gram and peanuts arrived on Friday morning from Gurdaspur, Punjab. Another containing dates and gajjak reached the Singhu border on Thursday evening to help the protesting farmers fight the biting cold.
 
"These are to keep us warm. Come and eat. You won't catch a cold," Deol tells this reporter. He just finished his tea and was now onto 'gajar halwa'.
 
According to Jagjeet Sandhu from Jalandhar-headquartered Shaheed Bhagat Singh Youth Federation, the farmers get tea, kheer and tomato soup twice a day to keep the cold at bay. Volunteers from a multitude of non-profit organisations have been supplying coffee, tea, milk, jaggery, dates, and peanuts to the farmers in their trolleys and sheds.

BJP govt ignoring farmers; SP to organise sit-ins on Dec 14 : Akhilesh Yadav

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Friday accused the BJP of adopting a "heartless attitude" towards the demands of farmers and said the global response to their protest has "deeply" hurt the image of India worldwide. His party has been backing the farmers' protest against the Centre's three new farm laws.
 
"The BJP government is ignoring farmers by adopting a heartless attitude towards the justified demands of the agitators shivering on the streets. The global response that is coming to this has deeply hurt the democratic image of India worldwide. The BJP government should stop exploiting those who feed us," Yadav said in a tweet.
 
The Samajwadi Party (SP) president has asked party workers to organise peaceful sit-ins at district headquarters on December 14 in support of the farmers' agitation. The party is already taking out 'yatras' since December 7 in the state in their support. Farmer leaders on Wednesday vowed that they would intensify their agitation by blocking key highways linking Delhi and a nationwide protest on December 14.

PM Modi asks farmers to listen to what Tomar, Goyal said on new farm laws

A day after Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal urged the agitating farmers to continue the dialogue and find an amicable solution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked the farmers to listen to these two ministers who spoke at length about the three Farm Laws. In a tweet, Modi said, "Listen to two of my colleagues Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal from my cabinet on the new Farm Laws and the demands of the farmers."
 
Modi also attached the video link of the press conference. Tomar and Goyal on Thursday afternoon addressed a press conference here, a day after the farmers' unions unanimously rejected the offer by the Centre to amend the laws recently enacted to bring reforms in agriculture and allied sectors.
 
As farmers' unions have started to step up their agitation with a call for blocking the expressways around the national capital, the government has asked them to return to the discussion table.

BJP to hold nationwide programmes to highlight benefits of three farm laws

With some farmer unions intensifying their protest against the central government over the recent agri reforms, the BJP has decided to hold nationwide programmes, including 'chaupal' in rural areas, to highlight the benefits of three farm laws. Events, including press conferences and public programmes, will be held in most of the over 700 districts of the country in this regard. The development comes amid opposition parties' united support to the farmers' protest and attack on the Narendra Modi government over the issue.
 
The BJP has accused its rivals of misleading the farmers over the farm reforms and has alleged that opposition parties have been inciting them for selfish political interests. Some farmer unions and opposition parties have claimed that these reforms are aimed at helping the corporate sector in capturing the agriculture market at the cost of farmers' interests. The BJP has, however, asserted that these laws will give farmers more choice to sell their produce and rid them of middlemen.
 
Top BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have repeatedly argued in favour of these laws and reiterated that the existing government support mechanism, like minimum support price and mandis, will continue.

Farmers stir at Noida-Delhi border enters eleventh day

The farmers demonstration against the new farm laws continued at the Noida-Delhi border for the eleventh day, even as a key road linking Uttar Pradesh and the national capital was partially closed for vehicular movement on Friday. Farmers at the Chilla border are staging a sit-in on one carriageway of the Noida-Delhi Link Road which has been closed, while the other side (Delhi to Noida) remains open for movement, officials said.
 
Scores of protestors belonging to the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) stayed put at the Chilla border, while those of BKU (Lok Shakti) continued to camp at the Dalit Prerna Sthal. One carriageway of the Noida-Delhi Link Road is open. People can come from Delhi to Noida, but the traffic movement on the other side continues to remain closed due to the stir, a Noida Traffic Police official said.
 
Commuters travelling to and fro Delhi can use the alternative Kalindi Kunj and the DND routes to avoid inconvenience. The protestors, belonging chiefly to the Bhanu and Lok Shakti factions of the Bharataiya Kisan Union (BKU), have gathered at the Noida border and want to proceed to Delhi to join the bigger stir called by farmers from Punjab and Haryana.
 

Farmers will go home once Centre repeals three new laws: Bhartiya Kisan Union

With the farmers' protest in and around Delhi against the recently enacted farm laws entering 16th day, the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) on Friday reiterated that the agitation would not be withdrawn till the three Acts are repealed.
 
"There is only one way to end the stand-off between the Centre and the farmers. Both have to back down. The Centre will have to repeal the laws and the farmers will go home," said BKU spokesperson Rakesh Tikait, adding that they don't want the amendments suggested by the central government.
 
Asked about the possibility of further dialogue with the government, the BKU spokesperson said that if the government sends an invitation for talks, the farmers will deliberate on the prospects of the further dialogue.
 
After rejecting the government's proposals on December 9, the protesting farmer unions said they will intensify their protest. The union leaders said that there will be sit-ins near BJP offices on December 14, adding that the Delhi-Jaipur highway will be blocked on December 12, giving a call to the farmers from other parts of the country to reach Delhi.

LIVE: A mobile van set up for Covid-19 testing at Delhi-Haryana border

BJP's reply to protest: Will hold Jan Sampark, Press Conference, 'chaupals' to educate on farm laws

Amid ongoing farmers protest on Delhi border areas against agri laws, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to organise series of measures including press conferences, 'chaupals' and Jan Sampark, in all the districts of the country on the issue of the new farm laws from Friday onwards. As many as 700 press conferences, hundreds of 'chaupals' and Jan Sampark will be organised in the coming days. BJP General Secretary discussed the issue through video conferencing with state 'prabharis' and state president on Thursday.
 
BJP led government have brought the laws with the aim to benefit the farmers, but the party says that farmers have been misguided by the opposition. Therefore, the party is starting the programmes to educate and inform farmers about the benefit of the laws.
 
BJP leaders are saying that opposition parties are spreading rumours regarding the reforms. In a bid to clear the rumours on the new laws, the BJP workers and leaders would be explaining the importance of the agriculture reforms.
 
The farmers' protest entered 16th day today. They have also planned to intensify the agitation over the next few days in which they have planned to block highways leading to Delhi, gherao BJP leaders and offices and bring out another 'Dilli Chalo' march on December 14.

No reply from farmers on govt proposal, says Union Agriculture Minister

Amid the ongoing farmers' protest against the farm laws, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday said that the Central government has sent their proposal to the farmers union, adding that they have discussed it but have not responded to the same.
 
"Our proposal is with them (farmers), they discussed it but we have not received any reply from them. We came to know through media that they have rejected the proposal. Yesterday I had said that if they want to, we can definitely talk about the proposal," said Agriculture Minister NS Tomar. The Union Minister expressed hope that the government will be able to find the solution to the issues raised by the protesting farmers.
 
"I think we will find a solution. I am hopeful. I would like to urge the Farmer Unions that they should break the deadlock. The government has sent them a proposal. If there is an objection over the provisions of an Act, the discussion will be held over it," Union Minister Tomar said.
 
While reiterating the Centre's stand on willingness to hold talks, the Minister urged the farmers to stop the agitation and take the path of discussion. "In our proposal, we have made an effort to suggest a solution to their objections. They should leave agitation and take the path of discussion. The government is ready for talks," the minister said.

Bhartiya Kisan Union approaches Supreme Court against three farm laws

Farmers should end their agitation in interest of common people: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar

Rahul Gandhi attacks govt over farm incomes

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday attacked the government, alleging that it wants the income of farmers in the country to be as low as that earned by those in Bihar. The former party chief cited a media report that claimed that an agricultural household in Punjab earns the highest in a year, while it was lowest in Bihar.
 
"The farmer wants his income to be as much as that of farmers of Punjab. The Modi government wants the income of all farmers of the country to be as much as that of Bihar farmers," Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
 
The survey cited by Gandhi showed that an average Indian agricultural household earns Rs 77,124 in a year, with Punjab farmers earning Rs 2,16,708 annually and that of Bihar only Rs 42,684. The Congress has been attacking the government over the new farm laws and has alleged that these will lower farmers' income.

Not received any reply from farmers regarding the proposal: Agriculture Minister

Farmers plan protests at toll plazas, memorandums to DCs

As part of their plan to intensify their agitation, farmers rallying on the Ghazipur entry point on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border said on Friday that they would hold dharnas at toll plazas and also submit memorandums to district authorities across the country. Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait, who along with his supporters are rallying at Ghazipur border, told IANS: "On December 12, we will protest at the toll plazas across the country." The protest would be against the central government and the corporates.
 
"On December 14, all District Magistrates across the country will be handed over memorandums by our supporters to be forwarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek repeal of the three new farm laws," he added.
 
He asserted that the protesting farmers would also hold 'Kisan Kranti March' at 11 am daily to lodge their protests till the Centre did not agree to their demands. Banners and posters regarding various farmers' issues would be put up at the Ghazipur border to make the public aware of the matter.

Farmers' protest: Several roads remain closed in Delhi

With thousands of farmers protesting against the Centre's new agri laws staying put at Delhi borders, several routes in the national capital remained off bounds for commuters on Friday.
 
The Delhi Traffic Police took to Twitter to inform people about road closures and advised them to take alternative routes to avoid inconvenience.
 
Farmers from different states have been camping at Delhi's Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur and Chilla (Delhi-Noida) border points for nearly two weeks now to demand a repeal of the farm laws enacted in September.

Repeal farm laws, don't want amendments, says farmer leader

Farmer leader Baldev Singh on Friday said that farmers don't want amendments to farm laws and want them repealed alleging that these Acts were created in the interest of big companies.
 
"We don't want amendments to farm laws. These laws are in the interest of big companies and they should be repealed. We are blocking the Delhi-Jaipur road on December 12," Singh told ANI.

Bharatiya Janata Party to organise press conferences and 'chaupals'

Bharatiya Janata Party to organise press conferences and 'chaupals' in all the districts of the country on the new farm bills from today. 700 press conferences and 700 'chaupals' to be organised in the coming days.

Farmers’ Protest LIVE Updates: Two IPS officers who were leading the police force at Singhu border have tested positive for Covid-19

Farmers’ Protest LIVE Updates: Two IPS officers who were leading the police force at Singhu border where hundreds of farmers have been on protest have tested positive for Covid-19, the Delhi Police said today, leading to fears of the disease’s spread in the crowd.

Farmers' protest: Charity service from Amritsar provides meals to agitating farmers


Accept farmers' demands with immediate effect: Sachin Pilot to Centre

Congress leader and former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot on Thursday asked the Centre to accept the demands of the agitating farmers with immediate effect.
 
"The farmers are fully alert and capable to protect their future, right and lands and the central government cannot confuse them with any vicious and undemocratic efforts," he tweeted. He said the central government should immediately accept all the demands of the farmers.
 
Thousands of farmers are currently staying put at Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in protest against the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
 
They have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporations.

We strongly condemn Centre's stand of not taking back black laws: Shiromani Akali Dal chief

Farmers' protest: Govt says ready to discuss its proposals; Unions threaten to intensify stir

Virtually ruling out repealing of new farm laws, the government on Thursday asked farmer groups to consider its proposals for amending the Acts to address their concerns and said it is open to discussing its offer further whenever the unions want, but protesters remained defiant and threatened to block railway tracks too in addition to highways.
 
As the issue remained deadlocked with both sides sticking to their respective positions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while laying the foundation stone for a new Parliament building, invoked Guru Nanak to underscore the importance of dialogue and noted that the Sikh Guru had said that interaction should continue till eternity.
 
A day after protesting farmers rejected the government's offer for a written assurance on Minimum Support Price (MSP) and amend few provisions in the new farm laws, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said at a press conference that union leaders must consider the proposals and said he is ready for further discussions with them, but left it to the farmer groups to propose a date for the next round of talks.

LIVE: Our protests will continue peacefully, says Bharatiya Kisan Union

Protesting farmers threaten to block railway tracks if demands not met by govt

The farmers who have been agitating for the past two weeks against the new agri laws on Thursday announced that they will block railway tracks if their demands are not met by the government. The farmer unions, which held a meeting on Thursday, said they will soon announce a date for blocking tracks across the country.
 
Addressing reporters at the Delhi's Singhu border where they have been protesting for almost two weeks to demand a rollback of the agri laws, the farmer unions also reiterated that they will intensify their agitation and start blocking all highways leading to the national capital.
 
"We will block railway tracks if our demands are not met. We will decide on the date and announce it soon. The blocking of tracks will not be limited to Haryana and Punjab but it will be done across the country," farmer leader Boota Singh said at the press conference.
 
The announcement by farmers came on the day Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said it was not proper to announce the next stage of agitation when talks were continuing and urged the unions to return to the discussion table. Tomar also urged farmer union leaders to consider proposals sent to them to break the deadlock over protests against the three new farm laws and said the government is ready for further discussions with them any time.

SCBA condemns repressive measures against protesting farmers

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Thursday passed a resolution condemning the use of repressive measures against farmers protesting peacefully against Centre's new agriculture laws. A statement issued by SCBA said: "The Executive Committee of the Supreme Court Bar Association has been dismayed to read reports in the media about the use of brute force to break up peaceful protests, where citizens raise their voices against State actions which they believe denigrate their basic rights."
 
The committee said the recent legislation on farm produce, which excludes the jurisdiction of civil courts, followed by use of force to prevent the farmers from holding non-violent protests for their rights is a case in point.
 
"The Executive Committee of the Supreme Court Bar Association has unanimously resolved to condemn the use of force and repressive measures against peaceful protesters, and calls upon all concerned Governments to uphold and protect the Constitutional right of all citizens to peaceful protest," it added.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Sigh Tomar urges protesting farmers to continue talks

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Sigh Tomar and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday urged the farmers to give up the path of protest and continue talks to reach a solution on the issues related to the new farm legislations. Both the Cabinet ministers were addressing a press conference here, a day after the farmers' unions unanimously rejected the offer by the Centre to amend the laws recently enacted to bring reforms in agriculture and allied sectors.
 
As farmers' unions have started to accelerate their agitation with a call for blocking the expressways joining the national capital, the government has asked them to begin discussions again.
 
Tomar said the way of dialogue has not been broken yet and the farmers should not take any extreme measures. The government has given the farmers a propasl to remove their doubts about the new legislations.

Farmers' stir LIVE: Key road connecting Noida-Delhi partially open

A key road connecting Noida and Delhi remained partially opened on Thursday even as farmers' protest against the new agriculture laws continued here for the 10th day. Scores of protestors belonging to Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) stayed put at the Chilla border, while those of BKU (Lok Shakti) continued to camp at the Dalit Prerna Sthal. The protesting farmers belonging to various districts of western Uttar Pradesh had blocked the Noida-Delhi Link Road that passes through the Chilla border but opened one carriageway on Wednesday evening after talks with the local police.
 
One carriageway of the Noida-Delhi Link Road is open while the other is closed. People can come from Delhi to Noida using that route but not otherwise, a Noida Traffic Police official said.
 
The official said commuters travelling to and fro Delhi can use the alternative Kalindi Kunj and the DND routes to avoid any hassle. "These two routes are completely open and the traffic flow is smooth, the official told PTI around 5 pm. The protestors who have gathered at the Noida border want to proceed to Delhi to join the bigger stir called chiefly by farmers from Punjab and Haryana.

Group of sportspersons, farmers provide laundry services at Singhu border protest site

A group of sportspersons and farmers have started a laundry service using multiple washing machines at Delhi's Singhu border to help protesters there avoid trips back home to bring back clean clothes. The 12 sportspersons from Punjab and Haryana as well as four young farmers from Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) said the laundry service was started simply to make things easier for the farmers who are protesting at the Delhi-Haryana border against the Centre's three farm laws.
 
The washing machines run 8-10 hours everyday, they said, adding that farmers' phone numbers and details of their camping location are taken and washed clothes are delivered to them daily.
 
Jagjit Singh, who hails from Ludhiana and is one of the four BKU farmers, said he came up with the idea of offering the laundry service after he made multiple rounds between Singhu and his city just to get fresh sets of clothes. So when he went back to Ludhiana two days back, he and three of his friends not only got sets of clean clothes, but also bought two washing machines with them.

Will block train tracks if demands not met: Farmer leaders

Farmers agitating against the Centre's new agri laws on Thursday said they will block railway tracks if their demands are not met and will announce the date soon. Addressing reporters at the Singhu border where they have been protesting for almost two weeks to demand a rollback of the law, the farmer unions also reiterated that they will intensify their agitation and start blocking all highways leading to the national capital.
 
"We will block railway tracks if our demands are not met. We will decide on the date and announce it soon," farmer leader Boota Singh said at the press conference. "Centre has admitted that laws have been made for traders. If agriculture is a state subject, Central govt does not have right to make laws on it," added Balbir Singh Rajewal, another leader.
 
Thousands of farmers have been protesting at various border points for almost two weeks seeking a repeal of the new laws, which they claim were aimed at benefitting corporates by weakening the mandi system and the minimum support price (MSP) regime for procurement of farm produce.

Transport corporation staff, trade unions and farmer outfits take protest rallies in Bengaluru

Indian government offers concessions as farmers intensify protests

India's government is open to amending some provisions in new farm laws, the agriculture minister said on Thursday, after farmers rejected proposed changes to the controversial laws they said would harm their interests and help big food retailers.
 
Farmers have been demonstrating since late last month over reforms enacted in September that loosened rules around the sale, pricing and storage of farm produce, which had protected farmers from an unfettered free market for decades.
 
"The government is open to amend objectionable provisions in the new laws," Narendra Singh Tomar told reporters, adding the current system of procurement that ensures state-set prices for crops would continue.
 

If agriculture is State subject, govt doesn't have right to make laws regarding it: Bhartiya Kisan Union

Take back 'black laws', fresh ones can be framed with stakeholders: Farmer leaders

A day after the farmers unions rejected the proposal of the Centre for amendments in the new agricultural laws, farmer leader from Punjab Boota Singh appealed to the government that the laws should be taken back and a fresh start made taking into account all the stakeholders.
 
"We only want that these laws should be taken back as they would cause great loss to the farmers, they are nothing but black laws and death warrants for not only the farmers but also the labourers, small traders and the whole nation," said Boota Singh Shadipur, President, Bharatiya Kisan Manch.
 
Singh said that if the government really wants to frame a law, it should start afresh and hold talks with the farmers; but first and foremost the newly passed laws should be taken back.
 
"We want to appeal to the Prime Minister that he should leave this stubbornness and take back these laws, the laws can be made afresh with the cooperation and unity of all the stakeholders," he said. Meanwhile, the protests against the newly passed agricultural laws entered the 15th day on Thursday.

MSP will continue under new farm laws: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar

Farmers' unions should consider Govt proposal; ready for further talks: Narendra Singh Tomar

A day after protesting farmers rejected the government's offer for a written assurance on MSP and amend few provisions in the new farm laws, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday urged union leaders to consider the proposals and said he is ready for further discussions with them.
 
"The government is ready to consider with an open mind any provision in the new laws where farmers have any issues and we want to clarify all their apprehensions," Tomar said at a press conference. "We kept waiting for suggestions from farmers' leaders to address their concerns, but they are stuck on the repeal of laws," he said, while virtually ruling out conceding to the key demand with which thousands of farmers are protesting on various borders of the national capital for nearly two weeks.
 
Tomar said the government has always been ready for dialogue with farmers and it remains so.
 
"We are concerned about the farmers protesting in cold weather and during the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. Farmers' unions should consider the government's proposal at the earliest and then we can mutually decide on the next meeting, if required," the minister said.

No provision in farm laws for element of compulsion on any farmer: Union Minister Piyush Goyal

Farmers' Protest LIVE: Union Ministers addressing the media

No provision for any lease or agreement over farmers' land: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar

Ready for open-minded discussions with farmers on provisions: Narendra Singh Tomar

Government ready to consider with open mind any provision in new laws where farmers have issues, remove all their apprehensions: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar

Farmers' Protest LIVE updates: Reforms help farmers sell produce freely, says govt

Reforms encourage farmers to sell their produce freely. The government wanted to liberate the farmers of the shackles of mandi so that they could sell their produce anywhere, to anyone, at his own price: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar

LIVE: Farm laws don't affect APMCs or MSP, says Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar

Wanted to liberate farmers of shackles of mandi: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar

We condemn this attack, says Narendra Singh Tomar after stone pelting on J P Nadda's convoy in West Bengal

Farmers' Protest LIVE: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar addresses the media

Farmers' protest on new agri laws continues for 15th day around Delhi

The agitation by farmers camping on the Delhi borders since November 26 to demand repeal of the new agricultural laws continued for the 15th day on Thursday, with peasant leaders adamant on intensifying the protests further. After rejecting the central government's proposal to amend the new laws, the parleys of farmer leaders with the Centre seem derailed at the moment and no new initiative is forthcoming in this direction.
 
Farmer leaders sitting on a dharna on the Singhu border on the Delhi-Ambala route said that their protest will last until the Centre withdrew all three agricultural laws.
 
Farmer leader Gurvinder Singh Kum Kalan, associated with the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal), told IANS: "Our movement will continue till the government withdraws the new laws. Our leaders have announced the closure of all major roads and highways towards Delhi and a protest demonstration across the country on December 14." READ ON...

 

Modi govt sensitive about farmers' demands: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

Amid the ongoing protests against three new farm laws, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Thursday said the Modi government was "sensitive" about the demands made by farmers and has addressed their main concerns in a "transparent" manner. He also said that most of the farmers were "satisfied" with the steps taken by the central government, and added that their interests were "safe and secure" in its hands.
 
"The government is completely sensitive about the demands of farmers. That is why it has addressed their main concerns effectively and in a transparent manner. Most of the farmers are satisfied," Naqvi told PTI.
 
Without naming the opposition parties, which have been targeting the BJP government over the farmers' stir, he said, "Unfortunately, defeated dynastic forces are trying to hijack democracy by taking a destructive path." The Minority Affairs minister also accused the opposition parties of confusing farmers for their own political gains.

Centre trying to ruin country: Kamal Nath on new farm laws

Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath has hit out at the Centre over the three new farm laws, alleging that the government was trying to ruin the country. Thousands of farmers have been protesting on various borders of the national capital against the three farm laws enacted in September.
 
"The new agriculture laws brought by the Centre will exploit the farmers," the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister told reporters. "This government is working aimlessly and it is going to ruin the entire country," he alleged.
 
"The President gives suggestion to the central government. Now, it is for the central government to take a call. The government should try to understand the reality of the agriculture sector," Nath said in response to a query over opposition leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and Sharad Pawar, meeting President Ram Nath Kovind seeking repeal of the farm laws.

Security up in Gurugram as farmers' plan to block Delhi-Jaipur national highway

After farmers decided to intensify their agitation in support of their demands, Gurugram Police on Thursday beefed up security at several traffic junctions, toll plazas and Delhi-Haryana border areas in view of protesters' plan to block the Delhi-Jaipur Expressway during the week.
 
"We have also beefed up security arrangements at border points in view of ongoing farmers' protests. We have issued an advisory to all officials concerned to take necessary precautionary measures in view of plans to block the expressway and toll plaza," ACP (Headquarters) Usha Kundu said.
 
Police officials have been asked to intensify patrolling in all sensitive locations, especially in border areas and Kherki Daula toll plaza so as to prevent any untoward incident.
 
While the farmers' protest continued for the 15th day on Thursday, Gurugram Traffic Police has issued a traffic advisory for crucial traffic points like Kapdiwas border, Bilaspur Chowk, Panchgaon Chowk, Manesar Chowk, Kherki Daula toll plaza, Hero Honda Chowk, Rajiv Chowk, and Shankar Chowk on the National Highway-48.

Repeal farm laws, don't make it prestige issue: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury writes to PM

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to repeal the three agri-marketing related laws without making "this a prestige issue as farmers are protesting against these new legislations. Chowdhury said the three laws are anti-farmer and corporate-friendly, and they will end up "hurting" farmers' earnings.
 
"I request you not to make this a prestige issue, he said in a letter to the prime minister. The government must bow to the supreme will and aspirations of the people and accordingly repeal the farm laws at the earliest, as the livelihood of millions of farmers is at stake," he said.
 
Meanwhile, Congress MPs from Punjab have planned a protest at Jantar Mantar for convening an early session of Parliament to repeal the farm laws. The Congress has also extended its support to the 'Bharat Bandh' call given by farmer unions seeking the repeal of farm laws. Chowdhury said in his letter that through these contentious laws, the Minimum Support Price guarantee, farmers' safety net since the Green Revolution of 1960s, is being "snatched away" under the pretext of giving them more playing ground and better platforms to sell their produce.

A new ‘Delhi Chalo' call is being given to all farmers in north India for December 14

According to the union leaders, a new ‘Delhi Chalo' call is being given to all farmers in north India for December 14, while those in the south will be asked to protest at district headquarters. They said all toll plazas across the country will be made toll-free on December 12.

Married to a cause: Punjab family says no to wedding gifts, keeps donation box for farmers

A family in Sri Muktsar Sahib, Punjab, asked their relatives and friends to donate money for the protesting farmers, instead of presenting gifts, during the wedding of their son recently.
 
At the ceremony, they put up a donation box in the venue and appealed to guests to make generous donations for the farmers protesting against three recently enacted farm laws in and around Delhi.
 
"This is our struggle and we all must fight it together. Everyone should help them. I would like to urge the young generation to do something for society, and come out in their support," said Abhijit Singh, the groom.
 
A relative of the groom told ANI their entire family agreed to do something for the farmers.
 
"We were celebrating here, while the farmers are protesting; so we thought of extending our support to them," he said.

Farmers' protest: Over 50 medical camps set up for farmers at Singhu border

Over 50 free round-the-clock medical camps have come up at Singhu, one of the multiple Delhi borders, where farmers have been agitating against the three recently enacted farm laws, braving the winters, for the last 15 days.
 
Free medicines and ambulance services are also being provided to the agitating farmers.
 
Dr Kanwar Pal Singh, a volunteer associated with United Sikhs NGO, which has set up many such camps, told ANI people mostly complained of fever and sore throat here. "Protesters, however, are taking all precautions here amid the COVID-19 pandemic," he said on Thursday.
 
Doctors and volunteers said that many already have existing health problems, for which they need regular medicines and health check-ups.

Govt intends to weaken the farmers' movement, says Bharatiya Kisan Union's Manjeet Singh


People Joining the Protest to Protect Democracy: Akhilesh Yadav

Samajwadi Party leader and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav attacked the government for its arbitrary decision. In a tweet the SP leader said that the farmers' protest is a movement to restore the democratic value of the country. He added that the people is the country are joining the agitation to 'protect the democracy' in India.


Farmer leaders said govt's proposal was an "insult" to the farmers

Addressing a press conference, farmer leader Shiv Kumar Kakka said there was nothing new in the government's proposal, and that it was "completely rejected" by the 'Sanyukta Kisan Committee'. The farmer leaders said govt's proposal was an "insult" to the farmers and they would intensify their agitation by blocking the Jaipur-Delhi and the Delhi-Agra expressways.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel