LIVE: Hopeful that farmers' unions will resume talks soon, says Tomar

Farmers gather at Singhu border near Delhi to continue their protests against laws liberalising agricultural markets. (PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist)
Farmers' protest LIVE updates Day 27: As farmers' agitation against three farm laws entered its 27th day, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Tuesday he is hopeful that protesting unions would soon complete their internal discussions and resume talks with the government to resolve the crisis. He met two more peasants' bodies from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh that extended support to the legislations.

Protesting farmer unions today said that a decision on the central government's offer for fresh talks has been deferred to Wednesday, even as they remained adamant on the demand to repeal the three farm laws. 

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping at several Delhi border points in the cold wave conditions against the new farm laws for the last 24 days. On Monday the farmers held relay hunger strike at various protest sites in batches of 11.

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Farmers block all 14 lanes of NH9 at UP Gate for eight hours

Farmers camping at UP Gate on Delhi-Ghaziabad border in protest against the three recent farm laws of the Centre, on Tuesday blocked all 14 lanes of the National Highway 9 for eight hours and also allegedly manhandled a journalist and photographer. The farmers blocked the arterial road highway from 9 am to 5 pm and lifted the blockade on the carriageway from Delhi to Ghaziabad after repeated requests by the administration.

On getting a complaint about manhandling of journalists, BKU national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait reprimanded a group of youngsters among protesting farmers for misbehaving with journalists. BKU's state president Rajbir Singh told PTI that the highway was blocked because tractor trolleys of some farmers coming from Bareilly and Rampur districts were intercepted by local police.

Ghaziabad District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey said a committee of representatives of all the farmers' outfits camping at the UP Gate has been formed. The farmers lifted the blockade of one carriageway of the highway after the committee members were apprised of the problems of commuters, he said.

Congress to gherao BJP offices tomorrow across UP in support of farmers' stir

The Congress will hold a statewide protest across Uttar Pradesh in support of the farmers' agitation on Wednesday marking the birth anniversary of Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh. In a statement issued here on Tuesday, the UP Congress said its party workers will 'gherao' offices and residences of BJP MPs, MLAs and public representatives in the state in support of protesting farmers, and also hold demonstrations by clapping and beating steel plates.

The party said that despite the unfortunate deaths of some farmers at the protest sites in the national capital, the BJP-led central government has turned a blind eye towards the farming community. UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu said the party will continue with its agitation until the three newly-enacted farm laws are withdrawn.

AAP seeks Ramesh Bidhuri's expulsion from BJP for allegedly using unparliamentary language against farmers

The AAP on Tuesday sought the expulsion of BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri from the party for allegedly using unparliamentary language against protesting farmers. At a press conference, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA and spokesperson Raghav Chadha showed a video in which South Delhi MP Bhiduri is purportedly seen using unparliamentary language to describe farmers and their movement against the Centre's new agri laws.

Bidhuri, however, said the video has been edited by AAP leaders and he did not say anything disrespectful for the farmers. Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, are protesting for over four weeks at various border points of Delhi against the laws and demanding that the legislations be repealed.

During the press conference, Chadha said, "I'd like to ask the prime minister to expel Bhiduri from the party." "The amount of insult and abuse inflicted upon these farmers in the last few days by the BJP cannot be fathomed. The ruling party at the Centre has tried every trick in the book to break the farmers--from using water cannons and tear gas, to building trenches and putting up barbed wire fences," the AAP spokesperson said. However, when the farmers reached the Singhu and Tikri borders of Delhi, the BJP realised the farmers' extraordinary will and thus, resorted to using "vulgar language to describe this movement", Chadha alleged.

Class 10, 12 classes in Karnataka to begin from Jan 1, 2021: Education minister

SSLC and PUC exams will not be conducted in March 2021, said Karnataka Education Minister S Suresh Kumar.  Classes for 10 & 12th standards will begin from January 1,2021 in the state, he added.

Air quality plunges to 'severe' level in Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad

The average air quality plunged to "severe" level in Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida and Faridabad, while it was "very poor" in Gurgaon, according to a 24-hour data issued by a government agency on Tuesday. Presence of pollutant PM 2.5 and PM 10 also remained high in the five immediate neighbours of Delhi, according to the air quality index (AQI) maintained by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
According to the index, an AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.
The average 24-hour AQI at 4 pm on Tuesday was 458 in Ghaziabad, 450 in Greater Noida, 437 in Noida, 407 in Faridabad and 377 in Gurgaon, according to CPCB's Sameer app. READ ON...

Farmers block highway near Rampur-Moradabad border in Uttar Pradesh

Hundreds of protestors blocked a key highway leading to Delhi in western Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday after they were allegedly stopped by police from moving to the national capital to join the farmers' stir against the new agriculture laws. The protesters, belonging to districts like Rampur, Pilibhit and Moradabad had gathered on the National Highway-24 at the Rampur-Moradabad border in the afternoon amid heavy deployment of police personnel.
Some of the protesters mobbed the official vehicle of a senior police officer while some others confronted other personnel during the chaos that led to a long traffic jam, according to purported videos that surfaced on social media.
One of the videos showed a senior police officer leaving the site in a Toyota Innova but was waylaid by scores of protesters, prompting its driver to reverse it in a rush as the mob kept banging the exteriors of the car.

Farmer unions defer decision on Centre's letter for fresh talks

Protesting farmer unions on Tuesday said that a decision on the central government's offer for fresh talks has been deferred to Wednesday, even as they remained adamant on the demand to repeal the three farm laws. Addressing a press conference at Delhi's Singhu Border, farmer leader Kulwant Singh Sandhu said that 32 farmer unions from Punjab held a meeting and discussed the next course of action.
He said that a meeting of farmer leaders from across India would be held on Wednesday where a decision on the government's talks offer will be taken. Sandhu said that they would also write to Britain MPs, urging them to press their Prime Minister Boris Johnson not to attend India's Republic Day celebrations on January 26. Johnson will be the chief guest at the event next month.
In a letter to 40 union leaders, the Joint Secretary in the Union Agriculture Ministry, Vivek Aggarwal, had on Sunday asked protesting farmer leaders to specify their concerns over its earlier proposal of amendments in the laws and choose a convenient date for the next round of talks so that the ongoing agitation could end at the earliest.
The sixth round of talks on December 9 was cancelled following a deadlock with the farmer unions refusing to budge from their demand for repealing the three laws.

Representatives of two farmers' unions from UP and Delhi gave memorandum in favour of farm laws

Farmers' stir: Agriculture Minister says hopeful of protesting unions resuming talks with govt soon

As farmers' agitation against three farm laws entered its 27th day, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Tuesday he is hopeful that protesting unions would soon complete their internal discussions and resume talks with the government to resolve the crisis. He met two more peasants' bodies from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh that extended support to the legislations.
"Representatives of different farmers' bodies had come to tell that the laws are good and are in the interest of farmers. They had come to urge the government not make any amendments to the laws," Tomar said after meeting the two groups. "I am hopeful they (protesting farmers' unions) will soon complete their internal discussions and come forward for talks. We will be able to find a solution successfully," the minister said.
Agriculture Ministry had written to the protesting groups on Sunday, urging them to specify their concerns on the government's proposal and finalise a date for the next round of talks to end the protests. At least five rounds of formal talks have failed to break the deadlock as the agitating unions have not agreed to anything less than repeal of the laws.

Some farmer leaders said no amendments should be made in farm laws: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar

3,000 Maharashtra farmers from All India Kisan Sabha start long procession to Delhi

Over 3,000 farmers, under the banner of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), started their 1,270-km-long 'Vehicle Jatha' (procession) from Maharashtra to join their counterparts from north India currently protesting outside Delhi, organisers said on Tuesday. In a related development, a large number of farmers staged protests outside the offices of certain corporate houses in Mumbai on Tuesday afternoon.
AIKS spokesperson P.S. Prasad said that over 2,000 farmers started in vehicles from Nashik on Monday evening, and more than 1,000 joined them in Malegaon during the day as they were proceeding to the state borders from Dhule. Thousands of locals, non-farmers and representatives of various political parties turned up to wish them safe journey and success in their endeavours.
With a target to reach Delhi on Thursday, the Maharashtra contingent hopes that many more will join it as the procession winds its way through the winter chills currently experienced in most parts of the country. The Maharashtra farmers are in "full solidarity" with the peasantry across India in opposing the three new "anti-farmer" laws introduced by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) government at the Centre, said AIKS President Dr Ashok Dhawale.

Decision will be taken on proposal sent by the Centre: Farmer leader

A meeting of Bharatiya Kisan Union and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar underway

Congress-led UDF holds dharna near Raj Bhavan in support of agitating farmers

Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) opposition in Kerala on Tuesday took out a march to the Raj Bhavan to express solidarity with the thousands of farmers, who are agitating in Delhi demanding scrapping of the contentious farm laws passed by the Centre. Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, former chief minister Oommen Chandy, UDF convener M M Hassan, and leaders of the front participated in the march and dharna.
MPs, MLAs and various farmers organisations of the front also took part in the protest. The farmers had commenced a relayhunger strike at all protest sites in Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on Monday as part of intensifying their agitation.

Protesting farmers at Ghazipur (Delhi-UP) border open one way of road for commuters

Protesting farmers block Ghazipur entry point on Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border

Commuters faced inconvenience as protesting farmers blocked the Ghazipur entry point on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border with tractors on Tuesday. Traffic moving from Delhi towards Ghazipur and Ghaziabad and vice versa on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway was affected as both carriageways were closed.
Farmers have also blocked the Chilla point on the Delhi-UP border, disrupting the flow of traffic from Noida and Ghaziabad to Delhi. Commuters have been advised to take alternate routes for proceeding towards Delhi via Anand Vihar, DND, Apsara, and Bhopra borders.
"Both carriageways on the Ghazipur border have been closed to traffic due to farmers' protests," a Delhi Traffic Police tweet said. "The Ghazipur border has also been closed for traffic from Delhi to Ghaziabad. Traffic from Ghaziabad to Delhi has already been shut. Traffic has now been diverted from Nizammudin Khattha, Akshardham, and Gazipur Chowk for onward journey via Anand Vihar, Apsara, Bhopra, and DND borders," said Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Outer Range.

Govt has decided its position regarding farm laws that they'll not be withdrawn: Farmer Union

Farmers' protest: Commuters face troubles on Delhi-Meerut Expressway

Commuters on Tuesday faced difficulty due to the closure of both carriageways on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway as protesting farmers blocked the Ghazipur (Delhi-Ghaziabad) border completely.
"This expressway isn't being utilised for the purpose it was constructed. I have been stuck here due to jam," says Gaurav Goyal, a commuter.
Another commuter from Delhi said, "It took me one hour extra to reach office, we are facing problems, I work for a private company, they will not understand I have been marked for half-day." Traffic from Delhi towards Gazipur and Ghaziabad on Delhi-Meerut expressway affected as both side carriageways closed for traffic said Delhi police.

Chilla border closed for traffic coming from Noida and Gaziabad to Delhi: Traffic Police

Ghazipur border closed from both sides as farmers block roads

As their protest against the newly passed farm laws entered 27th day on Tuesday, farmers blocked the Ghazipur border (Uttar Pradesh) with tractors. The traffic from Delhi towards Ghazipur and Ghaziabad on Delhi-Meerut Expressway was affected as both side's carriageways were closed.
"Ghazipur Border both carriageway are closed for traffic movement due to farmer protests," the Delhi Traffic police alerted the motorists through Twitter.
"Ghazipur border has also been closed for traffic from Delhi to Ghaziabad. It was already closed for traffic from Ghaziabad to Delhi. Traffic has been diverted from Nizammudin Khattha, Akshardham & Gazipur chowk for onward journey via Anand Vihar, Apsara, Bhopra & DND borders," Additional CP Traffic, Outer Range, Delhi, tweeted.

SAD to reach out like-minded parties to force Centre to repeal farm laws

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has decided to hold Akhand Paths from January 2 onwards "to commemorate the sacrifice of Sant Ram Singh Singhriwala and 42 others who died during the ongoing farmer agitation" besides "redoubling efforts to reach out to all like minded political parties to force the BJP led central government to repeal the three agri Acts".
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the party's core committee which was presided over by SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal.
SAD to reach out like-minded partie to request Centre to repeal farm laws
"The meeting decided that the first Akhand Path would be initiated at Gurdwara Sri Tegh Bahadur Sahib, Bahadurgarh on January 2 following which similar programmes would be held to give 'shardhanjali' to the martyrs in their respective districts. It was also decided that 'ardas' would be performed for the 'charhdi kala' of the Kisan Sangharsh. The committee also directed the party rank and file to help families of farmers who were engaged in the farmer agitation so that their fields were not left untended," the party said in the release.

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